It's 2014. When did you last pop a card or letter in the mail? Aside from the odd birthday card, I would answer; "Last Christmas". Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and even the almost archaic "Email" have taken over our traditional methods of keeping in touch. We send out group messages, invite our friends to exciting events and spread Birthday cheer using various social media platforms on a daily basis.
Here is where I take my stand. I LOVE Holiday Cards. Yes, I get a little giddy to check my mail during the month of December. It's the only time I expect something interesting and not the slightest bit depressing to enter my mailbox. Receiving Christmas cards puts a smile on my face and helps me forget about the handful of bills safely stowed beneath my small envelopes of joy. I must admit that the number of cards my family receives is getting smaller and smaller with each passing year, but receiving even a few still puts a smile on my face.
Every year I do our family card. I suppose being in my profession that might sound like an easy task. It's not, believe me. No family is harder to shoot than the family of the photographer! The simple task of making time for us to all be together a few months ahead of the holidays can sometimes be the most overwhelming part! Getting the dog in on it comes in as a close second. My kids seem to get incredibly goofy when they know I'm trying to get a particular shot. The word "cooperation" is as foreign to them as the Italian language. Usually our mini family session ends up with two frustrated parents, two spastic kids and a wild pooch! So I have opted to take a different approach. I don't try to get photos at any specific time throughout the year. I choose shots from our Summer holiday, or a photo from a walk along our many trails. One year, my son was scheduled for heart surgery and we quickly had a random eleven year old boy snap a shot of our family as we picked our kids up from school on my husband's cell phone. Bam... it made the front of the card!
I've seen Christmas Cards made from groups of someone's favourite Instagram shots. I've seen quick snapshots duplicated more than 50 times at the local printer for pennies each. It really doesn't matter how you do it, the recipient of your card will be thrilled. Let's face it, getting a personalized photo of a family or group of kids you love is so much better than a random card with an impersonal snowy scene from the local five and dime.
If you don't choose to send cards because of the postage price or you just feel like you can't find the time, remember that there are very few traditions left in our cyber world. Cards don't have to be bought, they can be made. Make it a family event. Put the kids to work with some glue, construction paper and some photos from your year. What ever the method it will be worth it. You'll make someone smile and hopefully your cheer will be returned!