Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Christmas Card

So in a forum I frequent (when the kids are asleep and I am procrastinating my to-dos, or when the kids are fighting and I am trying to ignore them...) I recently read a thread about Christmas letters. Love them or hate them? Me, I love them. Mostly because I love getting mail, and throughout most of the year the only mail I get are bills and ads... You all know I love me some internet, but I am still in mourning over the loss of writing and receiving actual letters. But that's a different post for a different day... Right now I'm talking about Christmas letters. Which I love (remember?).

While I had the best of intentions (which intentions included Christmas-Card-writing, -sealing, -addressing, and even -stamping-with-every-intention-of-mailing-but-not-quite-making-it-to-the-post-office), it wasn't until we had our bouncing baby boy four Christmases ago that we sent out our first Christmas cards. And of course those Christmas cards were a close-up shot of our cute kid. We even included a letter, AND we actually sent them (hey, once I get bitten by the motivation bug there's no stopping me)! Before we had kids, there really was no need for us to send letters or even pictures. Because for us, before the kids came, there was really only so much to report year after year. If I had written Christmas letters for the first 4-5 years of our marriage they would have read something like this: Dear family & friends, We're doing well. We're still in school. We're still working. We still don't have any kids. We still don't have any money. Merry Christmas until next year (when all will still be the same!). But kids provide the best material for Christmas letters! And so, we've written and sent Christmas cards/letters every year since Squeak was born.

(Because I just can't help myself, here's a gratuitous photograph of one of my cuties. This is what graced our Christmas cards that first year we sent them.)

But reading the thread made me feel a little self-conscious. After reading people's peeves with Christmas letters, I worry: are my letters too braggy? Are my letters too boring (surely other people are interested in my kids? Surely other people think they're cute, too?)? Are my letters too ____________ (fill-in-the-blank: long, short, preachy, secular, phony, real, etc)?

But you know what? After considering all that for more than a minute, I really don't care. I like writing them and I like receiving and reading them. So I will assume that everyone else does too. And if any of my friends/family members are too busy to read my one-page letter (and you call yourself my friend?!), or if they feel my letter is too [choose your adjective], well then they don't have to read it. Not my problem.

So this year, I will definitely (as always) send a letter full of cute anecdotes of my most-adorable kids and pictures to back them up.

I'm getting my Christmas cards from Shutterfly this year, for three reasons: 1. I have, in years past, received Shutterfly cards from loved ones and thought they looked elegant and classy and simple. I like that. 2. I have had excellent results with Shutterfly in other arenas (more specifically, Photo Books. I've used several websites to make photo books and Shutterfly is definitely the most user-friendly and has the best service (ahem, take notes, Fujifilm), and the books are of a great quality, too.). And 3. Shutterfly is sending me 50 free cards for writing this (but really, I was considering Shutterfly anyway, even before I heard about this opportunity. But offer me free anything and I will definitely take the bait!). Psssst! Shutterfly can send you free cards, too! See?

I'm actually having a really, REALLY hard time deciding which cards to get. Shutterfly has such an awesome selection. I'm really digging their Flat Stationary Cards. They're printed on cardstock and they just look so stylish, so classic and tasteful. You should go take a look and help me decide which ones to order. And while you're there, you should order some for yourself. Just not the same ones I (eventually) decide to order. Because that would be awkward.

Speaking of awkward, I feel not at all awkward about shamelessly promoting a good product in order to get some of that good product for free. So if you have anything YOU want shamelessly promoted, I'll totally be your girl!

Thanks, Shutterfly!


-A said...

I used to be an excellent letter writer. Now, I'm excellent at having good intentions and just about zero follow-through in about every area of my life.

While we've printed Christmas cards every year since the birth of our first child, we've only managed to get them mailed every other year. Following that pattern, this is the year!

Lost in Translation said...

I love Christmas Cards. I love letters in general, I feel we live in a world that has become so impersonal. I am looking now into doing some postcard and package type swaps for fun. I bet there are Christmas card swaps too, hmm, maybe I ought to start googling.

i think in the time I have been away from home I got less then 5 letters or cards in total. :(

Lost in Translation said...
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