Friday, December 4, 2009

The Evolution of a Christmas Card

I spent an embarrassing amount of time during the last 7 days trying to create the cutest Christmas card ever. It started with an idea, discussion, then, a photo shoot. The photo shoot covered two locations, but our model only wore one outfit. And unlike her counterparts that took to the Victoria's Secret runway this week, Violet had to have her mom there to scrape boogers off of her face and wipe her snot in between takes.

We had lunch after the photo shoot and then the hard work began: photo selection and card layout. I tried to use iphoto, but didn't like it. Then I went to Snapfish, the site we've used for several other photo cards, but I am just over their designs. They all look the same as last year. So I finally settled on a site we used to design an invite last year called Vistaprint. They have cute designs, the website is easily navigated, the uploading is simple and the prices are unbeatable.

Once I started to layout the card according to our original idea, it became clear that it just wasn't going to fly. We didn't have the right pictures, and even though Shawn offered to take more pictures later on in the week, I just knew if I didn't get them ordered over the weekend, they would not make a timely appearance in people's mailboxes. (Proving my point: I'll be putting our "We've Moved" cards in with the Christmas cards. We moved in JULY!) So, instead of waiting for another round of photos, I used some of the cute ones Shawn took and just re-imagined what the card would look like this year.

One thing I knew: Violet would be on the card, Shawn and I would not. I love getting photos from my friends and family at Christmas whether it is just their little ones or their whole family. Seeing how much their kids have grown (especially when you never see them in person) is wonderful. But, what if I've grown since last Christmas? I don't necessarily want anyone commenting on that over a glass of eggnog. I see myself everyday in the mirror so I barely notice those little lines around my eyes or the extra puff in my cheeks. But, if you only see me once a year in a Christmas card photo, you notice. I will leave this open, how ever, and won't say that I'll NEVER put a picture of myself on my greeting. After all, there is still hope I'll become a marathon runner and be one of those 40-year-olds that make everyone want to puke, so, if that happens, expect to see me plastered all over my own card. Wearing a candy-cane striped bikini.

We are not above pet portraiture on the holiday cards. I can't remember if Scout has graced any of our cards since we were married, but I'm pretty sure her image went around the country wishing people peace and joy at least once when I was single. She turns 14 this year so if we want to have her star on a Pierce family card, then we'll have to put it on the list for 2010. But then that brings up the question of the cat. If the dog is on the card, will the cat feel left out? She is sort of a junior family member this year. We are not sure whether or not she gets a stocking yet so I'm on the fence about adding her to a card so soon. Shawn had a good point when he said that Violet got a stocking and made the card on her very first time out; but she is our human child and that must be worth something.

It seems like a lot of work to put into a card that will likely find its way into every one's garbage by the 26th, if not before. But, I figure these are the glory days of Christmas cards for me. In 15 years, when my family is all pimples and bald heads and saddlebags, there will be no picture greeting card going out. Then we'll be on to family newsletters and that will be a whole other story...


Babs said...

SHE is just so damn cute!

Aly said...

I have to agree - she is the most adorable little girl I know! that picture with her pigtails makes me want to smooch her non-stop.

I love your analysis of the picture cards! It's funny because the picture I selected last year had me mostly *behind* Andy, peaking out over his shoulder. Perfect way to hide the baby weight! This year I am back to my fighting weight and confident to be a full part of the picture once again. Funny how those things go...

As for your card ending up in the garbage... never. In fact, I just looked through the bunch of cards from 2008, commenting on how much our kiddos have grown. lol- it'll be collecting that kind of stuff that my kids will curse when they are cleaning out my house one day. :)

Jill said...

Aly, you are the mom in the card that makes the rest of us green with envy!! If I looked as fantastic as you do, I would be the ONLY one on our card!!