Two Story Cottage

Twelfth Annual Christmas Card Dilemma

Dear Friends,

Are you doing Christmas cards this year?  Let me guess-  they are signed, sealed, and maybe even delivered.  Mine have not been ordered yet and today is my personal deadline.  We have sent them each year for twelve consecutive years since marrying in 2002.  I like receiving cards so I refuse to stop sending them.   In the age of the internet taking over the world, I don’t want to give up the one time that snail mail takes precedence.

Creating a photo card is not for the weak.  I am teetering on the top rung of the indecisive ladder.  It is a familiar spot because I’ve been there a dozen times already.  Each year like clock-work, I spend time browsing photos taken during the year.   Then I decide that we must get a new, fun, coordinated family shot.  It doesn’t have to be posed but it needs to be cheerful.  The children should look awake and not mean.  Hair should look like it was combed sometime this week.  Don’t even think about closing your eyes.  A shot that includes the dog is somewhere in the neighborhood of unattainable so that has become optional.


This year so far we have done pajama shots with the kids cuddled in a cozy chair.  We did Thanksgiving photos in their holiday attire. I’ve got pictures with Santa and matching Christmas clothes.  All of those, and I got one or two in the neighborhood of decent.  My favorite is a picture that I took with my cell phone of the kids on Santa’s lap.

I finally decided to go with the cheating Santa picture (I did order a photo package so I feel less guilty).   This is followed by the several evening process of putting the picture in an assortment of cards on several different websites.  Tiny Prints, Shutterfly, Vistaprint, Minted, Snapfish.

Don’t give me anymore to try.

If that wasn’t enough, I have cards added to carts and I stumble around comparing and contrasting and humming until I just can’t take it anymore.   Photo Place A has 20% off but you can’t order 75 cards.  Photo Place B has only 15% but the card costs a little less.  Photo Place C has free expedited shipping + 10% which could make me look like less of a procrastinator.

Because a photo card is all about perception.

I don’t want people to think I’m a last minute Mama although I clearly am.  And you want the world to see your perfect little stick figure family with bells on.  And smiles.  And neat hair. With sarcasm and droopy faces checked at the door.

The best part?  I finally submitted the card last night and got a message in my inbox this morning from the “design expert” saying that my photo was too grainy.  It must have been the flash from the real camera.

The nail in my coffin, y’all.

Back to square one.  But cards will be mailed.   Say cheese!


P.S.  Come on – tell me I’m not the only one who does this dance every year.

P.P.S.  I could do another post on the annual fight with the printer over the address labels.  Because that saves time, right?




  1. You are not alone!! About 400 shots and we still have nothing!!!

  2. I am a total nut about the yearly christnas xard. This year I even stooped to a new level and bribed the kids….and got the shot. Happy holidays. And remember picture or no picture, christmas will still go on.

  3. Oh my gosh – soooo with you on this! Same dance, every. Single. Year. And all of the choices about send me over the edge. And I order calendars and photo books as gifts – ask me if I’ve ordered them yet.

  4. You are not alone. I do the same thing every year. My youngest who is 14 is the one who gives me the most problems when it comes to getting a good picture. He usually has his face contorted in some odd way or his eyes are closed. This year as soon as the picture was taken off whet my sons nice shirt. I decided to try to get a picture with our dog. Wouldn’t you know that picture is the best one. I used the second best for our cards and added the best one to my Christmas family photo table. Oh and don’t get me started on all of the choices.

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