Christmas Card Angst {Part Two}

In my last post I shared our attempts to take a family photo for our Christmas card. Last year, with our mid-December trip to Disney World, time got away and we never sent cards, so I was determined not to let that happen this year.

In a perfect world I would craft a handmade card using my stamps, pretty papers along with festive embellishments and include our picture. We have never sent a Christmas letter, not that we have anything against them, but I've never known what to say in one. I do like to write a small message with actual ink and handwriting and in that perfect world, on my handmade card, I would do just that. Of course, in this perfect world I would do this early in the season, possibly even make my cards over the summer, and mail them out right after Thanksgiving.

That's how I dream, but that's not how I roll.

Photo cards have gotten extremely popular these last few years and I must admit my handmade dreams have been shelved thanks to the convenience of them. There are oodles of companies that offer reasonably priced selections. Two years ago we used Shutterfly, this year we used SmugMug. After I placed our order, I stumbled across Tiny Prints, which I'll file away until next year. This year we went with the 4x8, but might consider the larger folded style next year.

I knew I wanted at least three photos because I like odd numbers and I wanted to say Merry Christmas. I quickly found two styles I kept coming back to, yet each one had a small glitch.

Choice #1:

I liked this one because it met my above criteria, but there wasn't enough room in the blue frame for each of our names. Granted, most of the people we were sending cards to knew our names (I hope!) but I worried there might be someone receiving our card and thinking "The Shaws...wait...what's their kid's name again?", or something like that.

I expressed my concerns to Scott, who in the throws of watching a football game while obsessively checking his Fantasy Football scores was not able, nor willing, to give me his full attention. He said it was fine.

So I came up with Choice #2:

This style was also available in green, but I went with blue to continue with the water theme. Scott said it was fine. I had reservations though because it said Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. But we could fit our names in the blue box. What's a girl to do? I calculated that we would not receive our order in time to mail them out before Christmas, so I decided Happy Holidays would suffice.

Scott said it was fine.

With slight apprehension I clicked submit order and felt my stomach drop just a little when I got my confirmation e-mail a few minutes later. Why? Because I am in the picture on the card that we are mailing out to select friends and family. It would be A LOT easier to send a card with only Annelise, instead of stressing about my appearance and my most flattering angle. It would also be A LOT easier if I had changed my eating habits and non-existent exercise routine several weeks prior to this photo session, but that's another topic for another post. But I decided to suck it up and suck it in and smile anyway because I think Christmas card photos should include the whole family.

Of course the cards came much faster than I anticipated (SmugMug ROCKS!), so I felt guilt all over again with the Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas thing. By this time on Saturday morning, Scott was busy raking leaves when I expressed my concern one more time before addressing envelopes.

Guess what?

He said it was fine.


  1. you look GORGEOUS!!

    i stressed that last year with my own picture. this year i had grand illusions of taking a fun family photo at Disney (taking full advantage of their insane decorations). didn't happen.

    thought of taking a photo of jack with his dog (the new addition to our family this year.) didn't happen.

    stressed that the photos i chose of jack (in his pirates of the carribean jersey) weren't festive enough.


    (went with the Happy New Year wishes...)

  2. We will take a picture of the kids tomorrow dressed up in their Christmas church clothes and send out New Year's cards. Husband and I were going to be in it, and maybe still will be, but I missed my hair appointment (pregnancy brain) and so am reluctant to be included. We do write a letter, at least some years, but Husband has not started it, so it might not happen this year. I'm trying to keep all angst away. Can you tell?

  3. I agree with Lelly, you look fantastic!! Love love love the card. It's perfect!

  4. I love both card designs and think you look fabulous! I would much rather get a card with a picture of the whole family than one of just the kids.

  5. I was excited to open your beautiful card! I "cheated" and scanned pics that a professional photographer too of L and G this spring for our card. I figure as long as the pics are from 2009 it's all good. I am all about trying to simplify!

    Holy ^%$# my fetility drugs are here and I want to know how you did it Holly!?!? I really enjoyed the posts you did on your fertility journey earlier. I would love to adopt if we were "allowed."


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