Every year I want to get family pictures but I always put it off. It’s not easy to get a 5-year-old to sit still and smile, especially when he’s dressed in clothes his Mom picked out. It’s almost guaranteed that if I pick a date for pictures the baby won’t nap and will be fussy. And don’t even get me started on the husband who hates having his picture taken, who’s favorite thing to say is “I know what we look like, why do we need pictures”.
So, despite my best intentions for many years we didn’t get family pictures. Sure we took pictures on vacations and things but we didn’t have nice family pictures the kind that I would want to display in my home. Until last year, when I saw that a local photographer was offering holiday mini sessions, 15 minutes of photos, how painful could it be?
I was unsure I could convince my husband but then I had an idea, I could tell him that the family pictures could be used for Christmas cards and gifts for the grandparents. My husband loves when things have a purpose and was agreeable to having pictures taken last year and this year.
But for me it was more than just having a purpose. It was a chance to have nice pictures of my family to capture that brief moment in time when my son was 5 and I was 5 months pregnant, to capture the last Christmas just the 3 of us, to remember what he looked like right before he became a big brother and had to grow up just a little bit. To capture this Christmas our babies first Christmas and our first Christmas as a family of four.
And when I send my holiday cards I get to share those little moments of my life with my friends and family. So while I use Christmas cards as a yearly excuse to get those photos the cards and the photos mean so much more than that.
I have always designed my cards on Shutterfly because it allows me to personalize my cards, I can add a design on the back or a picture of our dog who isn’t really made for family portraits. There are even holiday cards to let friends and family know about milestone events like a new home, new baby or engagement.
I also use Shutterfly to make gifts for those that are hard to shop for like Grandparents. I’ve given the grandparents framed pictures of their grand kids, a gift that is much more appreciated than any gift card or DVD. Shutterfly offers so many gift giving options that you can turn your holiday photos into dozens of gifts. Last year my family photos made 2 gifts for each set of grandparents and gifts for aunts and great-grandparents.
I know social media make it seem like we see each other all the time, Christmas cards add a personal touch that you don’t get on the internet. I’m not sending cards to everyone on my friends list. Our cards get sent to the people we would choose to see without Facebook. They get sent to the people who I want to see in my mailbox year after year. Jack loves the fun of opening the cards we get and hanging them on the card display in our hallway. Christmas cards and family photos are traditions that my family will continue year after year.