What is your approach on the holiday card?

Our good friends Ted Anthony and Melissa Rayworth went for awkward this year on their holiday card. They put the family in matching holiday PJs and took the family to the Wal-Mart photo studio to get a few shots. They wish you a happy holiday even in the awkward moments.

Our good friends, Ted Anthony and Melissa Rayworth, went for awkward this year on their holiday card. They put the family in matching holiday PJs and took them to the Wal-Mart photo studio to get a few shots. They wish you a happy new year even in the awkward moments.

When I was growing up, the long braggy letter was the in holiday greeting. Families would try to make each other feel like crap sharing how great their year had been. I guess now people do that on Facebook.

For a while the popular approach for holiday cards has been the photo card. We started sending photo cards when Rose was born. When Walsh was born we started sending collage photo cards because we could never get one great photo of both kids.

Then that transformed into showing folks on the card what we had been up to or what the kids like. Now that we’ve moved out West our goal is to show people what we’re seeing out here because it is so different from the East Coast.

We have friends who I think are the masters of the holiday card (see above). Ted Anthony and Melissa Rayworth are both journalists we have known for many years, and every year they have a new and creative approach to their holiday cards – even if they are late. I asked Ted to send me a few of their last cards to share with you guys and here they are. It’s probably too late for this year but they may give you inspiration for next year.

I like this one because they had everyone in the family contribute. Also I think it's a great way to preserve how the kids saw and illustrate the tree at those ages.

I like this one because they had everyone in the family contribute. Also I think it's a great way to preserve how the kids saw and illustrated the tree at those ages.

This year, they commissioned an artist to draw the family with their favorite superheroes over head.

This year they commissioned an artist to draw the family with their favorite superheroes over head.

This year, the card was going to be late. So they embraced their lateness!

This year, the card was going to be late. So they embraced their lateness!

What are your favorite types of holiday cards to give and receive? Do you have a Ted in your life who always comes up with the best cards? What have been your favorites?

96 comments Add your comment

Tired Mom

December 20th, 2011
3:46 am

Haven’s sent cards in years. Money is too tight. Happy that these people can.

What Is Face Book

December 20th, 2011
4:10 am

[...] What is your approach on the holiday card? – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Families would try to make each other feel like crap sharing how great their year had been. I guess now people do that on Facebook. For a while the popular approach for holiday cards has been the photo card. We started sending photo cards when … Yahoo! News Dec 20, 2011 8:12am [...]

What Is Face Book

December 20th, 2011
5:56 am

[...] What is your approach on the holiday card? – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Families would try to make each other feel like crap sharing how great their year had been. I guess now people do that on Facebook. For a while the popular approach for holiday cards has been the photo card. We started sending photo cards when … Dec 19, 2011 11:29pm [...]

mom2alex&max

December 20th, 2011
7:03 am

Nope. Don’t do cards. It’s a tedious task that I used to hate, so now I don’t do it.

jarvis

December 20th, 2011
7:05 am

I just hit myself on a hammer as my wife has me “help” her decide which pic of the kids to put on the card.

ABC

December 20th, 2011
7:11 am

We do the $15 for 50 cards at Costco. Just upload one of your own digital pictures, and they have them ready the next day. It’s not free, but it’s cheaper than getting everyone a gift card like teachers, your mail carrier, etc. That’s what’s adding up this year!

This is Mrs. Norman Maine

December 20th, 2011
7:14 am

I don’t do them. It’s just another chore that costs unnecessary money and takes a little of the joy out of the season.

KCV

December 20th, 2011
7:20 am

Yes, sending Christmas cards is time consuming, but I do it every year. It is a small way to send a little joy each year to those I care about. I also love to receive them….much more than a virtual greeting.

Going green

December 20th, 2011
7:31 am

i haven’t sent out Christmas cards in years. since everyone i know has an email address, i pick out a favorite card every year on the internet and send it to them via email. it may seem impersonal to some, but i can personalize each card in a matter of minutes at very little cost to me. plus, it’s better for the environment, saving paper and all.

Rod

December 20th, 2011
7:34 am

These people don’t have time to spend a few minutes staying in touch with friends? Well, you’re not really friends worth having anyway.

We get a picture with Santa, go on Snapfish (or Shutterfly), make the cards, order them, a week later get them and mail them out.

dcb

December 20th, 2011
7:37 am

I hate to admit it because it falls under the category “isn’t anything sacred anymore” – but I went almost totally online with my Christmas cards this year. I send over 200 and have email addresses on all but a handful. And frankly, the job just got a little too much because even with a letter summarizing our family activities and growth for the year, I couldn’t get away with just signing the photo card I used to send. I always had to write a sentence (or two or three) unique to the receivers. So I bit the bullet and incorporated the message and a photo on a Blue Mountain Christmas card – apologizing profusely in the note for doing so. No ugly replies so far. But I still feel guilty.

Jeff

December 20th, 2011
7:39 am

I don’t send cards. Never have. It’s one of the benefits of being a single man, no one really expects it of you. It’s like going to a party and bringing something. If you bring crap, there’s not really any criticism. If you bring something amazing, people wonder whether you’re gay or someone helped you. :). Just havin a little fun with it.

Nickie

December 20th, 2011
7:52 am

I still send a few. Mostly to old family friends we no longer see. I’m over 60 and still in touch with a few people who were my parents’ friends and knew me as a child. It’s fun to remember them and keep them up to date with our children and grandchildren. it just feel right to do it. I write peronal notes in each one. Our other friends all get e-cards or other on line things.

April

December 20th, 2011
7:54 am

I love sending and receiving cards. Like the family in the post, I am sometimes late, but I get them out. The expense is not that great if you shop around. This year I went with a photo card from Shutterfly which was not the cheapest but had the fastest turn time around in my price range. It does take some time, but if receiving my card brightens someone’s day it is worth it. I keep all the cards I receive every year. It is fun to look back at them and see how families have grown and changed.

I really like the ideas in the post – I will keep them in mind for next year.

I know many who have stopped doing cards because of time or money. The money reasons I can completely understand.

Figment

December 20th, 2011
8:02 am

Mine will be late this year, but I’m OK with that. I want to get a picture to put in with the cards and we’ve just been so busy this year with moving and settling in at the new place. Hopefully I can get the picture taken next week and start on the cards. I think those awkward cards are great!

Enemas for Easter

December 20th, 2011
8:04 am

I think you are full of yourself if you send cards that are silly photos of yourself.

Sk8ing Momma

December 20th, 2011
8:21 am

I ditched hard copy cards years ago. Now I opt for sending ours electronically. We do an “A to Z 2011 ________ Family” edition. It’s one page that includes a couple of family photos taken during the year and highlights from our year that start w/ each letter of the alphabet. For example, “N” might be New York City – We spent thanksgiving in NYC and toured Lady Liberty on _____’s birthday. Friends & family LOVE it!

It’s a great way to be creative and include lots of information on the happenings of our family over the last year in a little bit of space.

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2011
8:22 am

Cutes cards and fun topic TWG!

Just back in from Montreal….C’est Magnifique! We watched fireworks with hats, gloves and scarves on ( a first for us) and shivered in the 15 degree temps. We saw the beautiful Notre Dame Basillica and also heard a Christmas Concert in French and English. I just mailed my cards with letters ( a one page poem I composed about our family) inside on Friday, to about 30 people whom I know will send me a card. Others, will get an e-mail version. This year, I used the cards that were sent along with the charities I support. They were not the best cards but the charities will get a check from me. I laughed when I opened a card, last night, from former neighbors: “We look forward to your letter every year!” I enjoy the letters I have received from others so far. Chacun son gout.

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2011
8:33 am

@ Ski8ing…love it! I want to read one!

I am trying to remember this when I read the blog: two sides here …creative/clever comments or complaints. Alliteration.

Marley

December 20th, 2011
8:39 am

Some traditions are worth it … this is one of them. Our list has grown to well over 100 photo cards sent, we probably receive 60 in return. I write a smal person note on each card. I can get all of them done in two evenings, no more than 6 hourse total spend. Honestly, it will put you in a better mood to send nice greetings (which it sounds like alot you you desperately need). When you don’t send anything, it really says you don’t care. This a huge part of what is wrong with modern society … decaying manners and graciousness.

I save all the photo cards that I get, it is fun seeing how our friends & family have aged and their children have grown. Some of the better paper cards have been made into ornaments. Environmental scrooges need to take note that anything you don’t wish to keep can be RECYCLED.

Merry CHRISTmas! :)

atlmom

December 20th, 2011
8:39 am

We never did cards, until last year. We got a picture of the kids and sent it out (for the new year). I think people like to see pictures of others. I really do love getting the pictures from friends to see what the kids look like, to know that I’m being thought of, etc. These past few weeks have been completely hectic, so we haven’t even gotten a picture of the kids at all, but I’m thinking of taking an ‘older’ one, i.e., not specifically for this time of year, and sending it out. I know people enjoy getting the cards, so I think I want to do it…

Augusta

December 20th, 2011
8:43 am

I send cards every year. This year I bought mine at the Dollar General…20 cards for $2.00. Started addressing them the day after Thanksgiving. We only send them local and we DON’T put a lengthy letter with it. Just a card. We keep in touch all year long with phone calls, Facebook, etc, so no need for a letter, just the card.

crystal

December 20th, 2011
8:52 am

I love getting news so I send news. Sometimes I get news back. It’s costly and time-consuming to send cards but I love doing it. And I’ve had people request that I not stop. I love the creative cards we get from others, too. Some send a note with pictures, one draws their own original card every year, and others sometimes send joke letters (we got one where a family described the superpowers and high-fashion modeling experiences they had had over the year). Cards and letters can be such a blast when you put your heart into it. However, it used to be disappointing when I sent every year to far-away relatives who sent me nothing, ever, and then they complained to my parents that they never heard from me. I have since realized that they complain about everything, and, if my Christmas cards can teach me who the negative people are so that I may avoid them, then it becomes a plus!

catlady

December 20th, 2011
8:53 am

This year I enclosed a printed letter–never have done that before but my hands hurt so much it seems better to do it one time, and make copies. Of course, I have added personal messages, too, so not sure if it did much good for the ole’ hands. I send out about 25 each year, and I enjoy getting the cards.

Anyone have a “family rule” like my folks did that the kid (s) could open any cards that had their name included on the front? I try to include the kid’s names now just in case they follow that rule. Even as an adult, I opened my parents’ cards that had my name on them (and a few did!) I loved reading the messages from my dad’s Army friends and from family I did not know, especially. I almost felt like I knew them, too. I miss that.

Another family tradition: My mom made pecan pies and delivered them to people who had been kind to her over the years. Eventually, she was making about 30 pies! I loved delivering them and visiting with their friends. Some folks she took pies to for over 30 years!

She also knit Christmas stockings with their names on them for people who had been good to her, and their families. When she died, she was making one for her doctor’s wife! (I did not figure out who it was for for a long time!

Becky

December 20th, 2011
8:54 am

I’m with Augusta, I send a card and that’s it..The only difference is that I buy my cards at yard sales and the thfrift stores..Have never paid over .50 for a box of cards..

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2011
8:56 am

Thanks for the reminder Marley! I just opened another card from a HS friend who lives in TX. I have received a photo of her boys ( whom I have never met but they are adorable) since they were small. The oldest is now in college and they are standing in front of the football field. Another milestone for her family. It’s fun. I do not send cards to local folks. Typically sent only to those I will not see all year or maybe once or twice, as they are former neighbors and we sometimes meet for dinner. Some friends are older and watched us, as a young family, trying to survive. They even pitched in to help. We appreciate them so much and thus want to stay in touch and let them keep up with our family. They do not communicate with Facebook or e-mails. A card is a nice way to say we remember you.

Glenda

December 20th, 2011
8:59 am

I do hard copy Christmas cards every year. I buy mine at the Dollar Tree, a box of 20 for $1. Most of them just get signed “Merry Christmas” from (then I put our names on it). I think sending & receiving cards lets someone know you are thinking of them. It gives them something to look forward to in their mailbox besides a bunch of bills. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Denise

December 20th, 2011
9:21 am

I don’t do cards but I love receiving the ones with my friends and their kids’ pictures. Keeps me up to date on how the kids are growing, especially the ones I don’t see often or at all. I think it’s great. A friend of mine at work sends a Christmas letter on what her family did over the year. Love that too. I don’t have much to report nor do I have kids to report on so I don’t bother. None of my single friends send cards so I don’t feel bad but I honestly look forward to the photo cards.

JOD

December 20th, 2011
9:32 am

@Jeff – Too funny!

Christmas cards may be old-fashioned, but I love to get them, photo or otherwise. I’ve whittled down my list to just close family and friends, plus some family we just never get to see. We’ve done photo cards in the past, but this year I just sent regular cards with hand-written messages.

I love the cards that TWG’s friends made. They are really clever. Maybe next year we can try something like that.

One tradition we have is each year Hubs takes a picture of DD (originally she was sleeping under the tree, but she’s a little big for that now) and has a glass ornament made with the picture, her name, and the year. Each of the grandparents/great-parents gets one, and there’s one for my gift as well. They are a great way to look back on Christmases past. Although we will need a ‘DD Tree’ at some point :o)

Counting down to vacation tomorrow! Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

☺☻Have A Smile!

December 20th, 2011
9:50 am

Good for you, Jeff. :P

Techmom

December 20th, 2011
10:08 am

I send cards. My mom of course made the comment that I didn’t write anything on our cards this year (they were printed photo cards). I told her I didn’t have time and since I was going to see her on Christmas she should be thankful I used a stamp and didn’t hand deliver. Haha! I do like seeing our friends & extended family and their families. I did not send a letter this year. You want to keep up with us – get on Facebook!!

jarvis

December 20th, 2011
10:58 am

A good friend of mine is a single guy. He sends out a card every year of himself and an inflatable doll.
The scenes are pretty funny. Last year they were at the mall shopping together. It’s the only card I look forward to getting every year.

jarvis

December 20th, 2011
11:02 am

Tough love here….don’t send letters about your family. It’s fodder for people making fun of you.

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2011
11:16 am

@ jarvis…folks make fun of me on this blog quite often and I am still here, after 5 years. So, I will hang in there with my Christmas letters. The folks who perhaps would make fun of me are thousands of miles away, so it would be too hard to hear them laugh at or about me. Thanks for the advice. I look forward to all cards, because it means someone thought of me enough to send one. That may be just me!

lakerat

December 20th, 2011
11:16 am

We send cards to mainly family and a few “old” friends – this will be the first year in about 27 years that we do not include a picture of the kids – they are both out of college and we decided it was time that we stop that “tradition” – my spouse wanted to send cards with pictures of just “us” – that was quickly squelched!

We always received comments from the “old” aunts that they so looked forward to receiving those cards – that is one of the difficult things about getting older, in that two of those aunts who were most appreciative of the cards passed away this year (ages 96 and 88!). Our list of recipeints has decreased to less than 25 now!

So, Merry Christmas to all who contribute to this blog, and all others, too.

Scooby

December 20th, 2011
11:27 am

I hate the picture cards. They are not Christmas cards. Christmas cards are supposed to have nativity scenes, cardinals, pine trees, glittler, etc. They’re supposed to be shiny and pretty, not a picture of you and your kids dressed alike in khakis and white shirts on your beach vacation. I also hate the family news letter.

What Is Face Book

December 20th, 2011
11:30 am

[...] What is your approach on the holiday card? – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Families would try to make each other feel like crap sharing how great their year had been. I guess now people do that on Facebook. For a while the popular approach for holiday cards has been the photo card. We started sending photo cards when … Dec 20, 2011 2:31pm [...]

jarvis

December 20th, 2011
11:31 am

@Scooby, that is factually inaccurate.

Scooby

December 20th, 2011
11:33 am

@jarvis, whatever, still don’t like them.

jarvis

December 20th, 2011
11:34 am

@MJG, my mom’s cousin used to send out a family-letter card. We have not received one in well over a decade, and we still make fun of her letters.

My mom’s cousin’s note always sent out an air of self-importance. No one cared that Paul took up golf that year, and for her to think that anyone did care revealed how unaware she was of her place in our lives.

jarvis

December 20th, 2011
11:35 am

Scooby, I was just ball busting.

Mine wouldn't make you smile

December 20th, 2011
11:49 am

Don’t think friends and family want to hear of all our misadventures this year with our problem teen. Why ruin their Christmas with my families problems?

Denise

December 20th, 2011
11:52 am

@Jarvis – you are right about not really caring about the grown folks’ hobbies! I want to hear about the rugrats! I will probably hear about the grown folks during the year if they are that good of friends, right?

Ted Anthony

December 20th, 2011
12:11 pm

@Enemas for Easter, who said: “I think you are full of yourself if you send cards that are silly photos of yourself.” — If, as your words suggest, you equate having fun with being arrogant, how sad. I am happy to be considered full of myself if I can make the people I care about smile a bit along the way.

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2011
12:12 pm

We just received a letter that included the fact that the adults ( HS and college friends) went Dave Ramsey and have paid everything off, including downsizing on their house. I looked at my husband and said, ” Good for them!” I am a newsy sort of person and love to hear about all sorts of things. Other friends have a daughter who went into the service and the Mom took a road trip to CA with her…they rode with the windows down the entire way. I loved it. I simply discard the things that are not interesting. That’s just me. A friend on Facebook is keeping others up to speed on their family cruise right now…cute pictures and good for them. I guess I just like to know people are enjoying their families!

What Is Face Book

December 20th, 2011
12:12 pm

[...] What is your approach on the holiday card? – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Families would try to make each other feel like crap sharing how great their year had been. I guess now people do that on Facebook. For a while the popular approach for holiday cards has been the photo card. We started sending photo cards when … Dec 19, 2011 8:22pm [...]

Techmom

December 20th, 2011
12:16 pm

These are the kind of letters I like to get:http://peopleiwanttopunchinthethroat.blogspot.com/2011/12/holiday-greetings.html

ng4bama

December 20th, 2011
12:18 pm

Last year was the first time we send a Christmas card with a family picture. We had some made in conjunction with my son’s senior pictures. I love to send Christmas cards because it takes me down memory lane of all the wonderful people who have touched our lifes over the years. I send cards to three countries, and I think 5 states. Time consuming what so worth it.

jarvis

December 20th, 2011
12:20 pm

That’s very positive of you MJG. I would have said, who gives a shchlitz about them and Dave Ramsey and car rides with the windows down.

If it was “news”, I’d have already have known about it.

Penguinmom

December 20th, 2011
12:22 pm

I still try to send cards every year, especially to older relatives and friends of my parents. They enjoy seeing the kids as they grow up and like hearing what’s going on.

When the kids were younger (babies), I wrote our Christmas letter from their perspective. It went really well and made it less braggy. As they’ve gotten older, I’ve tried a couple of other approaches (last year was a poem) but this year we’re just doing a regular letter. My plan is to sit down tonight and knock out the ‘must sends’ (mainly those relatives without FB).

I still love getting Christmas cards. It is fun to see how the kids have grown and to find out more details about what it going on. Even though a lot of my friends are on FB they do not all post what is happening in their family so a Christmas letter is a nice yearly update.