Association of Personal Photo Organizers Founder Cathi Nelson shares her thoughts on the tradition of the photo Christmas card.
While standing in line at Starbucks recently, I overheard a conversation between two moms that I could totally relate to. They were fretting over the family Christmas card. One was sharing how busy she is and hadn’t had a minute to find the best photo to use, the other, equally busy, predicted she would be lucky to get hers addressed and stamped by New Year’s. Yet, during that conversation, the possibility of skipping Christmas cards never occurred to them, and that makes me happy. Because, even though I see our family and friend’s photos constantly, on Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat, I still love going to the mailbox during the month of December to be greeted with holiday cards. And let’s face it, our mail today is usually only full of bills, direct mail and catalogues.
[bctt tweet=”What is your family’s tradition for displaying Christmas cards?” username=”photoorganizers”]
One Family’s Christmas Card Tradition
How do you display the cards that come your way each season? Our family tradition is to tape the cards to our fireplace mantel and along the archways that frame our living room. As my children have grown, they’ve become more invested in the process, especially my daughter. I used to sit and open each card slowly by myself, but now I wait for her. Together we open the latest stack and we love reading the newsletters and looking at the photo cards before we display them.
The final step is when we take down our tree and pack up the decorations for another year. I then carefully remove each Christmas card, look at the smiling faces, marvel at how everyone is growing and changing, and create a stack for my husband to review one last time before we discard the cards. Yes, I do throw the cards away at the end of the season, but I know many people don’t. As a photo organizer, I have found many clients actually save all their photo cards year after year.
When my children were younger, it was a lot of fun finding the perfect set of photos to send. In my opinion, they were the cutest kids on the planet, but now they’re 19 and 23 and they must approve any photos I want to send. Each year I think that maybe this is the year I will give up and not send a Christmas card. But I am inevitably just like the women I described above. I will continue the family tradition and hope my young millennial children will do the same when they are on their own.
[bctt tweet=”Sending (& receiving) a photo holiday card is a tradition many of us still enjoy.” username=”photoorganizers”]
How about you? Do you send a photo holiday card? How do you display them? Do you keep the cards each year? Share your ideas with us.
If you need help organizing and preserving your lifetime of photos, videos and keepsakes, find a photo organizer near you at the Association of Personal Photo Organizers.
Cathi Nelson is the founder of APPO (Association of Personal Photo Organizers) where she leads, trains and connects thousands of Photo Organizers from around the globe. Regarded as a pioneer in the photo organizing industry, she is a sought after speaker and has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic and Better Homes and Gardens.
Very nice article Kathi. I often find my Personal History clients have saved photo Christmas cards and letters. Some get preserved for many decades. One client had dozens in his 100th birthday album. For others the family photos that are shared are the only early pictures from the brother or sister’s family from their youth.
I use the SendOutCard service, and often incorporate photos into my card designs. As far as receiving them goes, I would far rather have a photo of the whole family than just the kids, especially if it’s friends who live far away and I never get to see them (i.e. they aren’t on Facebook).
I used to save the cards from year to year. Then I started downsizing and needed to toss them. Now, I save and scan any treasured card and the picture that might come with them. I make sure I label them and put faces to them, or “tag” them.
Also, about my own card sending – I loved sending cards while raising my family and wrote letters to accompany them. That because more challenging as the boys grew and started families of their own. So 3 years ago I tried a digital letter, on my blog, that anyone could read. Instead of enclosing pictures and that letter, I enclose the address of my blog where my letter and pictures can be found. The first year I “made” that my holiday card…but decided I didn’t like to do that – I like picking out a card and signing it – mostly because I LOVE receiving them. So I’m back to sending cards. BUT, my “holiday” letter and pictures stil appear on my blog with the link being included in the card so it can be found if folks want to read more about the Michauds!
I was on the first photo Christmas card in 1945, says my dad, who worked for Kodak. Trying to validate that claim. Do you know?
All the photo cards I get after Christmas I always put them in a scrapbook. During Christmas I display them on the wall. I like to put them in a scrapbook so I can look back see how children have grown.