I Want To Be Your Holiday Card Friend

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Each the year the holidays approach with lots of excitement and preparation.  Plans made, decorations hung up, recipes cooked, and presents purchased – and create and mail those customized holiday cards.  Some families take special pictures specifically for the holidays, but we typically use candids of our family taken throughout the year.  Truth be told, once summer hits, I do start snapping pics with the holiday card in mind.  One of my go-tos used to be at least one picture of the kids from Halloween, but those seem to be more challenging to get as they get older.  So as times change, so must my photography process.  I aim for one picture of each kid alone, one of them together and one of my husband and I.  In past years, I’ve chosen a winter-ish theme.  More recently, I’ve been going with the New Years theme. The latter allows us to slack a little in the process too. And dream up a cute little saying for the card – that each year I think is original, but in reality, it’s just an alternate version of the previous years.  And ta-da! Done! We are pretty! It’s perfect.

When the package arrives of photo cards arrives, we’ve got our mail merge all ready to go….envelopes printed and stuffed; stamps on and envelopes sealed.  Stick them in the mail and we are done.  Hmm…that was a lotta work?  But now the return on investment!  We start receiving holiday cards from friends and family across the country.  Oh my gosh – look at big Katie got.   Wow – Angela looks just like Theresa!   Hmph – where’d that baby come from?   Holy  – Henry grew a beard!  Holy – Billy went bald!  I admit it – I do get a little giddy when the mail comes during the holidays and I always proudly display the cards in home.

But with what feels like no warning at all, the holidays are over!  Decorations removed and stashed away for another year and family get-togethers have come and gone.  January rolls around to lots bills to be paid and lots of pounds to be lost…..and those holiday cards are still on display.  Typically the store bought cards get chucked (sorry!) – which oddly enough takes more of a personal effort for someone to send, but what about those picture holiday cards?

Personally I can’t throw away a picture, so I’ve searched online for ideas:

  • Photo albums/boxes. Great keepsakes.
  • Scan and keep digital pics.
  • Punch a hole and connect them on a ring

I haven’t discovered anything else too original that doesn’t result in extra crafty skills, so I have them all in photo boxes.  This does leave me with the sad realization that people are throwing away pictures of my babies… I’ll try not to think about their pretty faces lying in a pile of garbage.  Please – at least recycle, K?  Cause, ya know, I’m keeping yours.  But no guilt, K?

So yes – while I love all holiday cards, I love, love, love the holiday picture cards – even if it’s the same photos we’ve all posted on social media throughout the year.  It’s heartwarming to rip open that envelope and see a picture smiling back at you!  Hey, and if nothing else, it certainly beats the doldrums of the bills and advertisements, right?  My friends know that I’m a sucker for a photo and I’m sometimes sentimental to a fault, but I adore seeing what this past year has brought to you and/or your family.  Of course I want to see the latest and greatest in your life!  I want to see Joey in his baseball glory, Bryan in his school concert and Amy in full action in her soccer game.  And most importantly YOU! My high school friends who moved to Las Vegas; my college friends who moved to Florida and cousins who live in California.  Send, send, send!

Without question there are folks on your “list” that you might only hear from once a year during the holidays.   As we get older and life becomes busier, it may feel a little sad to realize that people in your life are now only “holiday card” friends – but in my opinion, it’s much better than the alternative of not being in any contact.  Once a year it’s touching  to know that you’re thinking of me and my family (even if it’s just my name on a mailing list) – and I couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to return the gesture.

Sure those stamps needed to mail the cards may be more expensive than the cards itself.  But it acknowledges that at one point our lives we were important to each other and that we still think of one another.  And I’d rather be “holiday card” friends than have no relationship at all.   It’s a meaningful form of keeping in touch and when you are holding that card, you’re holding a little piece of the person in your hands.  Photos or no photos, keep sending and I’ll keep smiling.  I’m holding space for you in my heart and my world.

So let’s spread that holiday cheer!  Whatever your celebration is this season, I hope that you enjoy it to the fullest and I wish you all the best.  Peace,  health, fun, smiles and happiness to you and your loved ones as we head into 2017.  Kindness & love always….

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