I love holiday cards. I mean…I loooove holiday cards. My mom started this tradition. Each year, my mom would sit down and do holiday cards (well in advance – unlike myself, she is insanely organized) with a pot of tea and a few slices of fruitcake. In addition to a printed Christmas newsletter, my mom would also include, with each card, a hand-written note. All one hundred of them. Now that's dedication to a holiday card tradition.
While I fully intend to someday emulate my mom (really, her manners are perfection)…I don't. Not only is my sense of timing completely off (I consider it success if my Christmas cards are mailed before Dec 24th), but including anything more than a "Happy Holidays! We love you!" kind of message makes me want to gnaw off my left arm.
NOTE: I have continued the whole tea & fruitcake thing. My way just never really achieves the whole relaxed vibe my mom always had. I think that's the difference between signing cards on Dec 20th vs Nov 20th.
I try to compensate, however, for my lack of poise in the Christmas card arena by making our choice of holiday photo card something a little bit different. I like nice paper, a cute/funny/poignant photo, and customizable greetings. Oh - not too expensive, either.
Each year, I set out on what can only be described as a holiday photo card quest. And each year, I end up at Tiny Prints. While I love the designs at Minted, they are simply too expensive. The prices (and some of the designs) at places like Shutterfly or Snapfish are great, but the inability to customize drives me crazy.
Like most things in life, the perfection I strive for in my mind is never quite reached in reality. And while I'd love to have a professional Christmas card photo to send out each year…it never happens. Either we can't afford it or I don't like it or we have the perfect pic…but we have to use the photographer's crazy-expensive in-house card options. So we usually end up using one of our own pictures. Which doesn't always pan out. In fact last year, looking through all 2938 pictures taken…there was nary a picture of the entire family smiling. Not a single one. Which is how we ended up with this one:
Perfection is indeed overrated. So we make the most out of the photos we have. And if all you have are grumpy faces and tears…then go with that. I promise you'll make someone smile this holiday season. Or send it to me – a card like that would stay up in my house all year.
ps. Since baby #2 is due in November, I'm going to wait until after he's born, and send out a joint holiday/new baby card (most likely from Tiny Prints). But I'm curious: has anyone else found fabulous photo cards where the greeting is totally customizable? Or is it just Tiny Prints?