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Have YOU done yours yet?

November 12, 2010

Done what, you say.  Ha!  I’m talking about holiday cards, people. 

There are two kinds of people in the world.  Those who get their holiday cards out early, and those who don’t.

I’m usually one of the latter.  Sure, I’d LIKE to get them done early, but that rarely happens.  There are a couple of reasons for this, but they’re not what you think.  They are…drumroll please…ELLEN’S RULES FOR THE PCITURES THAT GO ON HOLIDAY CARDS.  Read on, dear readers…

1. Any picture on a card must be taken in December.  November, maybe, but no earlier.  The fresher the family looks, the better.  Kids age, moms go grey, so it’s really best to take the picture and then run out and make your cards. 

2. The picture must include the whole family, pets optional (if they are cute and don’t make me sneeze).  I know you have the cutest kids, but I’m your friend, and I want to see you in the picture too.

3.  Pictures must portray a winter season.  MAYBE a fall theme – I had someone take a holiday portrait in the beautiful explosion of fall leaves, and it was lovely.  But it’s an end of year thing, and ideally there should be snowflakes, ice or seasonal greens. 

4. Family members must be dressed in winter type clothes.  I’m sure you had a great vacation on the Vineyard this summer, but really, that’s not an appopriate holiday card moment.  No short sleeves, no t-shirts. 

5.  Conversely to this, no coats should be worn.  In 2007, my holiday card was taken outside, but I didn’t let anyone wear coats.  We looked silly all bundled up, and much cuter without coats.  Reminds me of taking our 8th grade yearbook class picture when I was the editor, yelling at everyone to take off their coats to look more natural.  As a result, all you see are kids shivering in the yearbook.

Here’s how we looked in 2007…

I think my military nature attention to detail made for a lovely shot.  This was one of the outtakes, but since I look thin in it, it will stay. 

This year, we of course broke most of the rules. 

This photo was taken in August.  We all look SO DIFFERENT NOW.  3 months makes all the difference.  Of course, we look different from 2007 when I was 40 pounds heavier, but that can’t happen every year, can it?   We’re not in a spot that screams MERRY CHRISTMAS, but we are in a lovely spot in Boston.  I love that we’re all dressed up and holding hands, even if it’s just to keep IT Boy from running away.  True, Mr. IT looks like someone is stepping on his foot, but we all can’t be perfect in photos, can we?  Perhaps loosening up my most rigid rules once and a while is a good thing. 

Shutterfly is getting in the holiday spirit this year by offering bloggers 50 free cards – I’m part of that promotion, and as such I’m going to use that photo in mine.  I think I’m going for one that looks like this – we have friends of all faiths and beliefs, and the concept of Joy is universal enough to appeal to all.  You can find more options here and here

How are YOU going to spread the joy this holiday season?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Kathryn permalink
    November 12, 2010 8:28 pm

    How ironic–I was just looking at Shutterfly! Use them all the time….love the option you chose.

    Each year I make photo books for the relatives that live far away (okay, everyone who lives far away AND my mom who lives across the street. That’s kinda far away if you define “far away” as “not living in the same house as you”. Anyway…). I try to take photos from each month so that those who don’t see us often can “see” us, so that they can experience the milestones in our lives too. I love watching Grammy and Grandpa’s faces as they page through the book–pure joy!

  2. Catherine Marshall permalink
    November 13, 2010 9:00 am

    My last 7 Christmas cards have followed almost all of your rules. But I think I’m still burned out from last year’s completely coordinated family photo. This year, I have the idea that I want to do 2010 in review and do one photo from each season. But do I really have a picture from each season where both kids look decent? Time to get cracking,

  3. Julia permalink
    November 15, 2010 7:16 pm

    I hope your next post is about round robin letters which accompany the cards!

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