This year, ordering family holiday cards was totally different for us.
This year, our family agreed on the photos.
Each and every one.
And this year, we agreed on the card.
We agreed on the message, and we agreed on the language.
From start to finish, ordering holiday cards was a family affair, and this year, every single one of us was happy.
Mom and Dad were happy.
My tween was happy.
My third and second grader were happy.
No tears. Only a happy family, all five of us.
Thank goodness we were all happy, because last year was a total nightmare.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Family Holiday Cards–How to Get Kids Involved:
Last year, we sent out holiday cards that I loved.
I mean, I loved them. I loved the photos, I loved the way they were arranged, and I loved how everything looked once they were finished.
I thought they looked really great.
The photos were natural–the kids were outside in our yard, splashing and playing on a sunny-rainy-rainbow day, and they looked beautiful.
And my husband thought so too.
But my kids? Not so much.
Mom. These are awful.
I can’t believe you would choose these pictures. We look crazy.
Moooooom! I look like a baby. I am so embarrassed.
These are the worst photos ever, and I can’t believe we’re sending them to all of our friends and family.
Right. Three out of five people in our family–over half of us–didn’t dig them. At all.
And though I felt awful, they were already ordered. And they had already arrived at our house.
So I apologized sincerely and promised them that next year would be different. That I’d never, ever order photo cards without a family vote and that they would definitely have a say next year if I could just have their blessing to send them out this year.
That was the deal.
So here we are.
This year was different, from start to finish.
Here’s how this year was different:
1. We began by choosing a few holiday card designs from four different styles.
The idea is that by trying a few different styles, you’re introducing a variety of ideas to your kids.
I know that there are some styles that my husband would absolutely not entertain. So I kept our styles simple, choosing mostly from
The styles we tried were
2. Upload 3-10 agreed-upon photos to the holiday card website.
Do whatever is easiest: save a handful of photos to your desktop, create a special ‘holiday card’ folder, or flag a few dozen photos in your photo program on your computer.
Whatever you decide, you want to narrow down the photos to about 3-10 that everyone in your family is okay including in the holiday photos.
Then upload those photos to the website you choose.
3. Choose four holiday card designs.
Save each design as you go, and title the designs ‘holiday cards [year] 1, holiday cards [year] 2, holiday cards [year] 3, and holiday cards [year] 4.
And then when you have saved four designs, click on ‘compare designs’. Then you will be able to see each design on the screen. This makes discussion about the designs much easier.
4. Take a silent family vote.
We numbered ours clockwise from 1-4, and we each wrote down the number of our choice on a piece of paper.
Then we tallied the votes.
Because Owen admitted that when he wrote down ‘1’ he really meant ‘2’, we had a vote that worked: 3:2. It was close, but we talked through the decision and figured out a way to make it work for all of us.
5. Make final adjustments in layout and language.
Here’s where you make the card work for everyone. We did some adjusting with ours, in both layout and language.
And finally, we found something that worked for all of us.
Super-duper important: before you order, remember to apply. Those. Coupons.
Right now, they’ve got a few seriously good holiday card deals going on.
Really, remember that I shared a ton of coupons for photo books on our family photo book post, and many of those same companies sell rockstar holiday cards, too.
And that’s it.
When the photos arrive, we’ll create our family assembly line of addressing, stuffing, stamping, and sealing the cards–one of our favorite holiday traditions! On the night of doing holiday cards, we make hot chocolate, put our pj’s on, and chat together while we prepare our cards.
Bringing out the old boxes of holiday cards is super-fun, too!
The more simple we can make the holidays, the better. . . and the more family time and simple gift-giving, the best!
Want a few more holiday-inspired learning ideas? Check out:
- Best Gifts for Kids and Families 2014
- Best Gifts for Kids and Families 2013
- Best Gifts for Kids and Families 2012
- Holiday Fun Fact and JOKES Lunchbox Notes (with Hannukah!)
- Holiday Time Fun Fact Lunchbox Notes
- Little Holiday Notes and Jokes
- Holiday Notes for Families
- The Polar Express tradition
- Scratch-off Cards
- K-Cup Advent Tree
- New Year’s Family Interview
- Happy Holidays Backyard Birds
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