Nine years ago I had the crazy idea that I could take my own family Christmas photo to send with our yearly Christmas card. My husband loved my first photo so much that he asked me to send them out as postcards to his customers–librarians. The response from friends, family, and librarians was so positive about not only the photo, but the short “letter” on the back of the postcards that the sending of the cards has become an annual event. People often tell me, “I can’t wait to see what your card will be this year!” It’s a lot of pressure, but honestly a lot of fun. I hope you get some creative inspiration you can use for taking your own family Christmas photos and will consider sending cards. I use Send Out Cards where I can have my postcards sent automatically to everyone on our list–a major time saver because we send over 300.
#1 The Imperfect Card
This was my first attempt at taking my own family Christmas photos for cards. People loved that my daughter is holding her shoe, that my little guy on the right is so happy and wiggly that he’s blurred, and that my Andy isn’t smiling on the left. On the back of the card, I listed the top ten comments we receive and our responses: 10. Are these all yours? (Yes, we collect them) 9. They all look alike (We used a home cloning kit) 8. What are their ages? (8, 6, 4, 2, and 11 months) 7. You finally got your girl. (No, it’s another boy. We just put bows in his hair.) 6. That girl doesn’t have a chance with all those brothers. (No chance to play alone!) 5. You must have the patience of a saint. (We’re just tired. If that’s patience, ok.) 4. Your kids are so well behaved. (Great! Can they come play at your house?) 3. I don’t know how you do it. (We’re glad. You probably wouldn’t approve.) 2. Are you done? (Would you believe us if we said yes?) 1. You really have your hands full (Yes, and our hearts, too).
#2 The Un-Christmas Card
What they didn’t know is what I had to go through to get this level of photo imperfection. While I didn’t send it out, I had fun doctoring up one of the shots for an Un-Christmas Card below.
#3 The Nativity Card
By far the fan favorite, this photo was taken just 11 days after our youngest was born. A friend gave me the idea. We used the shelter that a nursing home hadn’t finished setting up for their Nativity scene yet. On the back of the card, I used cast notes to describe what was going on in each child’s life.
#4 The Spell it Out Card
I bought matching pajamas for everyone and had everyone but the baby holding a wooden letter. I used a photo editing program to add the exclamation point and the word, Christmas. On the back of the card, I used M E R R Y ! as an acronym to describe the family news of the year.
#5 The Old-Fashioned Christmas Card
We had this taken while we were on vacation one summer. What you don’t know is that the baby was coming unglued during this process because he hadn’t had a nap!
#6 Family Portrait Card
We had our family picture taken professionally by Cindy’s Photo. I put a gold frame around this picture for the card and noted what everyone’s “profession” was on the back.
#7 The Family Tree Card
I had everyone dress in green and we tried to make it work with real Christmas lights, but I ended up editing the photo digitally to make it work. I shared the new things we “branched into” in 2009.
#8 The Real Life Card
This was a favorite of many. I took the picture on a fall hike without planning ahead at all. On the back of the card, I shared “real life” challenges we were having. The Scripture shares that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
#9 The Peace on Earth Card
I used red duct tape for each of the kids. The reflection from the flash was a bit of a problem, but it was a hit. I had people using the idea, which is just fine, because I got the idea from someone else! On the back of the card, I shared what each kid says all the time.
#10 The Brady Bunch Card
This was last year’s Christmas photo. I took everyone’s picture against a green backdrop. The family news on the back of the card was to be sung to the Brady Bunch tune.
Bonus #11 The TIME Card
On the back of this card I wrote how each family member spent his/her time. The photo is also by Cindy’s Photo.
Want to see this year’s card? Like the page on Facebook and you will!
Be sure to follow my Christmas Inspiration board on Pinterest for more great ideas.
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These are all SO adorable! I love them all!! #2 is my favorite I think even though you didn’t send that one out. 🙂
My grandfather made his own cards in the darkroom. There’s a definite sequence as he experiments with different things. Some of them are very elaborate, taking several steps. Others were very simple. Fingers crossed Mom has the binder. If she doesn’t, than one of my cousins does.
Cricket, what a treasure! I hope my grandkids feel the same way about our cards.
My favorite is the real life #8. Except for the “ooh babies” factor of the earlier ones which makes it so hard! Just imagine the wide lens you’ll have to get once the grandkids come!
I hadn’t thought of the grandkid options, Jacq. Hope I can keep the ideas coming until then. 🙂
LOVE all of the card ideas. They all look great.
Thanks, Barbie. They were a lot of fun.
Wow, you have some great ideas! We took a Thanksgiving/Fall picture and now you already have me thinking of a Christmas picture! Thanks for all the ideas.
Thanks, Caleb! Are you still in the US? I just subscribed to your podcast today. Looking forward to it!
These are some great ideas. My wife and myself were just talking about Christmas photos:) Thank you for some great ideas.
You’re welcome, Dan. I hope your holidays are especially blessed.