I’ve already discussed my feelings about Christmas
letters. Now, what about those pesky
little photo cards that accompany the Christmas letters or, more commonly,
arrive solo? They are an entirely
different story. Once a fairly uncommon
tradition, sending out photo cards is now a right of passage for young
parents. It is also a competition. We may not admit it, but it is.
Every time I get an envelope from someone with children in
the mail, I rip it open to check out the photo card. First, though, I take a minute to check out the exterior. Did Jennifer type or write her
addresses? What font did Alyson
use? Did Joann place a tasteful sticker
on the envelope seam? My printer is on
the fritz so my addresses were hand-written. I also took full advantage of the holiday labels that I received from
The Sierra Club and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in the hopes that I would
reciprocate with a donation to their respective charity. Did I? Nope. Do I feel guilty for using
the labels anyway? A little. Suffice it to say, the exterior of my cards
left something to be desired. I
definitely lost that contest.
The cards that I have received have run the gamut from very
traditional, single photo framed cards to super-creative, multiple image
folding cards. Some of my friends
clearly dropped some major bank designing these greetings but it was all worth
it when I opened the envelope and gazed covetously at the photo within. I even felt the need to scan some of them
and email them to friends. We marveled at
the cleverness and creativity of our counterparts and began making plans for
next year’s card.
Next year’s contest is in the bag. It’s mine to lose. This
year my card was very run-of-the-mill. It featured one photo and was very traditional. No more! I’ve got to compete with my creative friends and prove my worth as a
Mother and master of all things holiday. I’m thinking of asking my husband to build a manger and making elaborate
costumes so that we can recreate the Nativity for our card. That would necessitate having another baby,
though, so it may be out of the question. We could also dress as the cast from “A Christmas Story” and purchase a
leg lamp and some bunny costumes for the kids. That would be pretty classic. The days of the whole family cleverly clad in Santa hats are gone. Now, you have to wow your audience. Shock and awe, baby. Shock and awe.