Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year for Snail Mail

I absolutely love the tradition of sending Christmas cards. In the age of email and Facebook and blogging, I love walking out to the mailbox and finding something personal and fun among the bills and advertisements nearly every day in December! I love opening envelopes with familiar handwriting and seeing notes from faraway friends. And I really love seeing their smiling faces in a photo card.

All our Christmas cards go in a basket on the dining room table, and each night for dinner we select a card and pray for the family. We do all the photo cards first, because as soon as we get through all of those, I get to plaster them all over my refrigerator! For the rest of the year, you can hardly tell what color our fridge is, and that's just the way I like it: covered with photos of loved ones, whether it's friends we see every week at church, cousins who live far away, or friends I haven't seen in years.

This year, Shutterfly is making it even easier for you to bless me with a Christmas photo card :) They are giving away 50 FREE photo cards to bloggers! I was so excited to read about this promotion on Sarah's blog, because with stamps at 44 cents apiece these days, sending out cards can get pricey pretty quickly.

We haven't taken our family photo for this year's cards yet--I'm hoping to give it a try with the tripod and remote this weekend. The last few years, we've had friends or cousins do a little photo session; this year, I wasn't quite so on the ball. I'd really love to get professional portraits done, but the budget won't really allow that this year. Maybe the meantime, a little trip down memory lane to see how our family has grown through the last few years of Christmas cards:

My, how life changes...

I can't wait to get going on this year's cards--hopefully we'll be able to get a decent picture. Elijah isn't super cooperative about that these days (he apparently prefers to be on the other side of the camera) but we did discover over Thanksgiving break that bribing him with raisins at least convinces him to sit where you want him and look in the general direction of the photographer.

Anyway, Shutterfly has tons of great cards--I'm going to have a hard time choosing. They have some premium cards printed on cardstock instead of photo paper, which would be much nicer for writing personal notes on the back. And the traditional, basic 4x8 photo cards have come a long way in the last few years, I think! This tree design is really fun for those who have too many cute pictures and can't choose just one:

As relatively new parents, we've also found that photo gifts from sites like Shutterfly are joyfully received by new grandparents at Christmastime :) For Elijah's first Christmas, they received photo ornaments for their trees. We've also given playing cards and calendars. And as much as Elijah is into puzzles right now, I think he would really love a photo puzzle of some beloved family members! Too bad he's not *quite* ready for 252 pieces yet...

Head on over to Shutterfly to do some Christmas photo-shopping...and if you're a blogger, sign up to get some free cards! And then send me one so I can put you on my fridge :)


Ali said...

I love the idea of praying for a family each night at dinner. :) This too is one of my favorite times of year mail-wise and our refrigerator is likewise unrecognizable throughout the year because of all the cards. You guys are always up there and we pray for you throughout the year because of the reminder that picture provides. Can't wait to get this year's!

Danielle said...

I love the idea of praying for those who sent you cards too! I think we'll do that this year!

Thanks for letting me know about the promotion! I don't think we're going to get a family pic but one of the kids would be nice to send and this is a great deal!

Sarah D. said...

Love the idea of praying specifically for those who send Christmas cards! What a great way to keep them in your prayers.

I know what you mean about children not wanting to get their pictures taken! Xander was having the same problem... Hopefully, he won't when we take our Christmas picture!