Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Is a Season, Not a Day...

...and that's what I keep telling myself as the days of December click along without my getting ready for Christmas! Well, I guess I'm not doing too badly, thanks to my on-the-ball husband. (Okay, I admit it. His organized neuroticism can help me out at times.) We got the house decorated last weekend, and we've established a family Advent calendar tradition, which involves M&M's, making for one very happy little girl. I've actually got nearly all our shopping done - just some photo presents left to produce and order for the grandmothers. And that brings me to my final big project for the season: The Family Christmas Card.

Even though we are on major austerity program at the Hill House these days, I HAVE to send out at least a few cards. I always agonize over our Christmas cards, which I've only started sending since Becca was born. (That means that "always" means the past 2 years...which often feels like my entire life!) She's just so darn cute and adorable and any card I'm going to send out has to reflect her beautiful face and soul, and, frankly, not many card designs are good enough for my girl's face. (I'm sure you other moms know what I mean.) Not to mention the fact that, hey, I'm a pastor and see the card as an opportunity to give a gentle reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. (I'm not opposed to either the traditional secular Christmas symbols (Santa, etc) or to more generic holiday cards (especially since not everyone on our card list celebrates Christmas), but I do notice the theological nuances to certain card designs.)

But this year is easy! First off, our friend Jessica Kelley snapped some AWESOME pictures of us at in a somewhat impromptu photo session at Crockett park. When I saw this picture,

I knew I was looking at our Christmas card photo. So perfect. Such a Becca face. So full of joy and that Advent sense of expectation. And her bow even looks good. (I make them myself, so I get a little picky about that.) Usually just selecting the picture takes days, but before I even saw the rest of them (many of which would have made adorable cards, too), I knew this was the one. Step one, done.

Next I had to decide where to have our cards printed. I've used several different websites in the past, but have generally been happiest with the products I've gotten from Shutterfly. I particularly love the Super Hero birthday invitations I got from them for our own Super Baby's 1st birthday party. And so when I heard about this blog promotion, I knew we had a winner. You know how I love a good deal...and good pictures of my kiddo! Step two, done.

And here I am with step three...and I need your help. I've got to select a card design. This is usually the hardest step because it's difficult to find a design that works well with the chosen image, is theologically appropriate and matches our family's style (not too fancy or formal). However, Shutterfly's 2010 collection is so vast and varied that it was hard because there were so MANY great options! (You can see them all by clicking here (for Christmas cards) or here (for general holiday cards). I've narrowed it down to 3 options:

Card 1: Peace on Earth (their design names)

Card 2: Peace Love Ribbon

Card 3: Mod Love

I tried to share links for you to see them each with Becca's picture, but I can't figure out how to do it. It may not be possible (so as to keep you from just stealing their designs). But I bet you can use your imagination. Please do, as I'm letting my readers pick our family's card! I've set up a poll; it's in the right sidebar. Take a second to vote for your favorite design, and that's the one I'll order and send! Why, you ask, is such a control freak letting readers, many of whom are strangers, pick out our family's card? Because, of course, they are all adorable, so you really can't go wrong! :) Besides, I may never be able to decide without you. (In years past, I have gotten multiple designs simply because I can't pick a favorite. I might have issues.) I'll close the poll on Friday and call step three done.

Once you've picked my card, go check out the others to select yours! And remember, as long as we get them out in the 12 days of Christmas (which, by the way, begin with December 25th), we aren't late! :)


  1. (you might remind folks that the twelve days of christmas are AFTER Dec. 25, not before, so that gives you even more leeway!)

    I shared images of our pics in the card designs by taking a screen capture as I was playing with them--kind of illicit, I guess, but it's free publicity for them! It's not like I'll print out my screen captures and use them as cards!

  2. I know that my reasoning doesn't count since it's a vote, but since she's to the left of the picture, #2 having the ribbon on the right balances out the card. Even before I knew that there was voting involved, I thought how it would work well if you could put the text on the right side. All of them are great cards, though!

  3. Yeah, I'm with Amy Saffell on this one. (My art class has taught me a few things about balancing words and pictures and how to make stuff look good.)

    #2 gets my vote. (And yes, I voted in the poll too)

  4. Yep, that's the advantage of number 2. I like the wording on the first one best, though, and it's the only one that fold (and thus has an inside). And the bottom one's just cute. See why it's so hard for me to decide?

    Jess, thanks for the reminder reminder. I've included it now. :)