I grew up in a household that sent Christmas cards. My family sent many many cards – with my siblings sending their own and my parents sending their own, too. I couldn’t wait to be old enough and grown up enough to send my own cards. That happened somewhere in my mid-teens. I remember my first cards – they had small town churches in snow on them and oh how I loved them.
Fast forward to the 90s: I get married and my husband is not Catholic. What to do? Send cards but more season-themed: winter, lights, etc. Also, we found cards that are called “Mixed Blessings” that incorporate two religions on the front.
Fast forward again to when we had children. Then, the shenanigans really started. No longer content to send a pre-printed card, we embarked on taking our own photos and submitting them to a photo shop to be printed. But not just smile-and-shoot while everybody is dressed nicely types of cards…instead we took our first born and put him in a wrapped box, and then took our dog and put her in another wrapped box. We put peanut butter on our son’s toes and let the dog lean over and lick it off. Voila! Instant cuteness. We progressed onto kids wrapped in Christmas lights (done frequently now but not so much back then) and excellent snow shots when Mother Nature cooperated. One year, we buried the kids in 700 pine cones and let them play with them. That year they weren’t too happy as the sap was very sticky. We have had them build sand “snow” men on the beach and photographed that.
As our kids have gotten older, we have sought to create more age appropriate, yet still fun cards. Last year we placed a frame in the foreground and had them jumping around in the background on a snowy lawn. That one looks cooler than it sounds. This year, we took the picture waaaay ahead of time back in January. We brought Santa hats to Antarctica and had the kids pose with them in front of a group penguins.
Each year the bar gets higher for our creativity since everybody has access to tech that enables them to do interesting things, and we want our cards to be unique.
Time to start thinking about next year!