Many many moons ago… I used to do a photo Christmas card every year. I didn’t have any kids back then, just a husband and dogs. And I would send the cards to our closest friends and family. Lots of people would comment on them and say how much they liked getting something more “special” than the typical card. And I enjoyed doing it.
When my Great Uncle passed away I found out that he hand-made a beautiful wooden frame to hold one of my Christmas cards, and had it displayed in his house. A kind family member saw to it that it was given to me upon his passing. He always said that he loved those photo Christmas cards. But it really touched me that he had it framed in his home, in a frame that he made himself.
I now have three children and I am sad to say that I have never done a photo Christmas card since my kids were born! :( It makes me sad to even admit that. I mean who does photo Christmas cards with your dogs and not your kids? Me apparently! Ugh.
It hasn’t been intentional. When my first babies were tiny, there was so much going on that I didn’t really have time to think about it. I did have two children 11 months apart after all, so cut me some slack. ;) Since then, we’ve been on a tight enough budget that it was a difficult thing to swing at Christmas time. I have always wanted to do it – always. I think the photo cards are well worth it, they are such nice mementos to keep. But it was more the skyrocketing cost of stamps that kept me from it.
But this year, thanks to Shutterfly I have the opportunity to do photo cards for the first time with my children! They have offered me 50 free photo Christmas cards in exchange for telling you, my readers, about some of their products.
I would never promote anything that I didn’t believe in. I just would never do that, free photo cards or not.
I love to take photos. And I am extremely picky about photo developing. Just ask my poor husband who has listened to me rant and complain numerous times over poor photo developing. Shutterfly was recommended to me by another mom and I have been using Shutterfly to develop photos for approximately a year now, and have been very pleased with the results. The photos have came out looking good and have NOT smelled horrible of developing chemicals – something that is a big deal with my breathing issues. Also they are great about emailing you GOOD coupons for sales and savings.
When our last baby was born, I did splurge and do a photo birth announcement. To be accurate what I actually did was, I skipped the pricey hospital photos which are always crap, and I used that money instead to do photo birth announcements with the photographs that I took, which were far better. For any new mom-to-be out there just consider that been-there-done-that advice. ;)
I was extremely happy with the results. They turned out better than I would have ever expected. I used one of the options with a large photo of the baby, and then several tiny photos of the rest of the family on the other side. I gave one of the cards to the PA at my OB/GYN’s office who had recently had a baby, and she said, “Ok you have to tell me where you had these done because these are the best announcements I’ve ever seen – and I see a BUNCH!” They really did come out so nice. I even kept keepsake copies for the kids.
To save money on postage, we plan to hand out as many of the cards as we can, and keep stamps to a minimum. We’ll use stamps only for the cards that are going to loved ones that we won’t be seeing in person this holiday season.
Now here’s the tricky part. Shutterfly offers so many options! Which is a great thing, it really is. But I am so indecisive when it comes to things like this. There are several styles that I really like. Here are just a few styles that I thought were really cute:
I haven’t decided what style to go with yet. We haven’t taken a family photo yet. So my plan is to see what sort of photos we can get and then choose the style. Oh and I need a haircut. My son needs a hair cut. Oh, and it’s December 15th already! Yikes! If I don’t get to work on this fast, I may have to do Happy New Year’s cards. ;) Yes they have those too. I looked just in case! LOL!!!