Out-takes: Christmas card edition

“James, we need to get some pictures for our Christmas card.”

“Aggggg — are we going to be those people who send cards every year?”

“Obviously, yes.”

“Can’t we just use another wedding photo? We have so many.”

“Absolutely not. We didn’t get married this year!”

“Can’t you just photoshop me in?”


“Does my face have to show?”

“Yes. But we can dress in costumes!”

“Absolutely not.”

And then I had my brother snap some pics of us when he was here last weekend. It was pre-coffee for James and pre-breakfast for me, so needless to say, there were MANY out-takes that won’t be making this year’s card, like the failed jump shots, the ones where I am being bossy and giving instructions, the ones that could double as our angsty covers for our couple musical duo that will never happen, ones where it looks like we are choking each other, and the ones that are just bad — all  classic James and Hannah out-takes.November-14 November-21 outtakesNovember-40

According to Real Simple, my authority on everything, you should just skip the holiday card or traditional Christmas family newsletter, as it is outdated and time consuming. I just can’t accept that. I love getting Christmas cards and letters, actual physical ones that I can pour over and then hang on the fridge. Last year I just used some of our wedding photos on a post-card, but this year I am looking into some other card options. I love these from Suzie Stationery, where you get a customized image that you can reprint from wherever. This one and this one from Etsy are a similar idea and I like the verses. I also like a lot of the styles from Minted, but they are a little pricier than I want to spend. A friend just had some done by Tiny Prints that were adorable, but then I occasionally consider just designing our own again, maybe doing some cool hand lettering using my new SigNote app (Thanks Mary Beth for sharing! I’m obsessed).

What about you, are you sending Christmas cards this year? Where are you getting them? Give me all your tips!

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44 Responses to Out-takes: Christmas card edition

  1. Thinking about sending holiday cards this year….which would be the first time ever I’m doing this.

  2. RA says:

    I married into a Christmas card tradition (newsletter and everything!), and it took me a while to find my footing with it. I have realized over the years that I don’t really care how designed my cards look; a handwritten note is way more important to me. I am also not killing myself with hand-addressing all of the envelopes because that task falls solely to me and my legible handwriting (ahem, husband, whose tradition this is, AHEM).

    Here’s the plan this year:

    Card: I threw something together with 5×7″ dimensions on Picmonkey (selfie from our beach vacation and a picture of the dog) and got them printed through Printrunner as a flat card, uncoated stock, with a 10% discount. I like to stay under $1 per card, and this came to about 50 cents each. The shipment is due today, and I really hope they came out nicely.

    Addressing: I’m running a mail merge on sheets of address labels, and I got us a self-inking return address stamp (after only 8 years of having this address!) that should last us the next 10 years of Christmas cards, so help me.

    Assembly. The husband will stamp return address, affix address labels, and postage. Then I will write out the cards and include any other necessities (like, some people are expecting babies soon, and I am enclosing some book plates). Then he will seal all of them, and one of us will mail them. Target mail date: December 7. We’ll see how that works out.

    • RA says:

      Update! The Printrunner cards are good enough for me. The picture quality is a bit grainy, but that might be because of aforementioned slapping together in Picmonkey. But I don’t care that much, so it’s fine with me. The stock is adequate. I wouldn’t eliminate them as a possibility next year; I might just get a thicker stock and try to con a designer friend into making a better design file for me.

  3. sharon says:

    Use the last picture. No question about it.

  4. Lisa says:

    I will never, ever find Christmas cards outdated. I love to send & receive. I try to include handwritten notes to those people I’m very close with that I don’t see often. Sometimes I write a letter & sometimes not. I always have pictures. I used to religiously hand address, but now I often print labels.

    Still, there is something beautiful about finding an actual hand addressed envelope in the mail box. Happy sending!

  5. Alison says:

    We are doing a photo Christmas card with a picture from our wedding because we didn’t do picture thank you cards for the wedding.

  6. Laura says:

    I ordered mine from VistaPrint this year, but in the past I have tried Shutterfly, Etsy, and others. My main thing is price. I don’t usually like to spend more than $50 or so and we usually send out around 50+, so it is hard to get that price down with shipping and everything! I usually search for coupon codes on a few different sites before buying. I am totally with you – getting a real life card in the mail is always exciting and I hope that tradition never goes away. I don’t think it’s outdated. And I think lots of people still do it because they care about them too!

    P.S. Those outtakes are hilarious!

  7. Rebekah says:

    I love getting photo cards from people we don’t see often, so I send them too. 🙂 This year I am being super cheap (frugal? that sounds better) and just ordering ’em from Walgreens. When I have more cash lying about, I’ll try Minted or Tiny Prints.

  8. beckydancer says:

    I was born into a Christmas newsletter family and I will always carry on that tradition. I am lucky to have Adobe skills so I integrate several pictures into a newsletter and print an 8.5×11 page for everyone. No one has ever complained it is too long, and in fact most people are chomping at the bit for it by the time December rolls around. 🙂

    Love the idea of outtakes – that’s hilarious!

    • Hannah says:

      Oh I like the photo letter idea!!! Maybe I can con James into writing it…

      There are definitely a couple letters/cards that I look forward to every year!

  9. Mar H says:

    I absolutely LOVE Christmas cards (really all handwritten mail). I love photo cards and a handwritten note, I want to hear about the families of my friends across the country.
    We had one perfect morning of snowfall with the snow clinging to the trees here in central OH so I made my twin 3rd graders go out and hold their baby brother so I could get pics for a card. The backdrop was gorgeous, the kids really didn’t cooperate so much… I had an email offer for 20 free cards from Snapfish so I used that; though I don’t love them, they will work. I plan to keep my eye out for other good deals.
    I went and looked at your cards from last year – gorgeous – and I love that you planned ahead for Christmas. I may borrow your for unto us idea, as this is the first time we are expecting at the holidays.

  10. Becky Crouse says:

    I also LOVE getting Christmas cards and updates in the mail, and I don’t think they’re outdated at all. We’ve sent one out every year since we’ve been married. This will be our 6th year. We normally print our newsletter on regular printer paper, and sometimes I add a stamped design or hand sign them, and then we pick a picture from the year, print 100 or so copies at Walgreens, and mail them out. Last year, we used Susie’s birth announcement as our picture, and I used Shutterfly for that. This year I’m planning on going back to the Walgreens route though. If you email me or message me your address, you can get one this year! 🙂
    Also, once we’re in the new year, I cut out any family pictures from holiday cards and put all our pictures up on our fridge to look at the rest of the year. It’s been fun this year to point different people out to Susie.

  11. Katy says:

    Got married this year and I think one of the biggest pluses of a wedding (not really, but yeah kindof really) is that you already have several christmas card options…no stressing over getting a good christmas card worthy pic – which is good because the joke growing up was that the christmas card pic session always ended up with someone in tears.

    taking a christmas card pic would be too much stress for my new marriage, ha, so I sent a wedding pic in to the card company and was DONE with it

  12. I love receiving and sending Christmas cards! I’m not sure what I’ll do next year if there is no major life-couple event for Kevin and I. Last year we got engaged, so naturally, one of those was our Christmas card. This year we got married, so guess what photos I have to choose from for this year’s card? I’m set! Until next year, at least.

  13. Caitlin says:

    I just sent ours out today! We used Tiny Prints…but I ordered the wrong # (whoops!), so some are cute and some are from Walgreens. 🙂

  14. abby hummel says:

    One of my biggest disappointments about moving DURING ADVENT (terrible idea) is that Christmas cards are not happening. Not enough time in the days, unfortunately. I’m still doing one via email and I might steal the idea of using that app you mentioned for some handwriting…

    I love doing hand-lettered holiday Carols as the front of my cards. I am going to do one anyway and scan it as an attachment so people can still use it somehow if they want. (I have several friends who tell me they frame them so…. don’t want to disappoint.) I would use your last picture, too. 😉

  15. Shelly says:

    I, too, am wearing yellow tights in our Christmas card photo for this year. True color-loving soul mates. Yellow tights for life!

    • Hannah says:

      I’m making the bestie hand heart right now. I also just bought awesome new yellow flats that you would LOVE. I’ll be checking my mail for the Pugel card!

  16. Stephanie says:

    This is my first year married and first year sending out Christmas cards and I was so excited I ordered them back in late October, and yes, I used wedding photos- you have to for that first year! 🙂 I went to Simply to Impress and got a great deal! Love those outtakes! http://www.simplytoimpress.com/

  17. mary says:

    oh hey now. that picture of you jumping, james not. my favorite ever! we’re sending some cards, not sure how many… i love sending them to absolutely everyone, but then it just get’s so pricey! but real simple is totally failing with their statement. man, so dissapointing! although i have heard of families that send yearly cards for minor holidays when things aren’t quite as crazy, and that also seems like an acceptable substitution. but i too, absolutely love getting christmas cards. we hang them over a doorway on a garland and i love seeing the faces of friends old and new all the time.

  18. vivian says:

    use the one with you jumping and he’s just standing there. SO COOL!!!! i send picture cards each year as it’s the ONLY time old friends get a picture and letter. 🙂

  19. I am so happy to hear that it is now outdated. We can stop moving house so frequently, which was our previous method of avoidance.

    But I don’t want that to take away from your happiness 😉 .

    You used the last shot with just you jumping, right? (I hope so – I like that one.)

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