Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Card Creativity

I don't know about the rest of you...but I'm diggin' Emilee's awesome ideas from last night. After I type this up, I'm definitely heading over to Pinterest to put things into action. last post before Christmas. I've had this on my list of things to stress over because I wanted to do something big and fun and awesome. Well, last night I sat finishing up photo shoot edits and staring at my still undecorated tree ( has no lights or still looks exactly as you last saw it) and worrying over how to finish everything I needed to before Christmas, and I made a decision. I decided that I'm okay with being average today. So this post may not be super witty or inspiring, but in a way it was therapeutic for me, so I count it as a win. 

What is one thing about Christmas that many women (and some men I'm sure...but in my experience, not so much) stress over starting in September? The Family Christmas Card. What do we do? What do we wear? Will Aunt June think it's too cheesy? Will the Donald's think it's too ostentatious? Do we do a classy picture or one that shows our true side? Portrait or landscape? How can we crop out that guy picking his nose in the background that the photographer didn't notice?

Here's an awesome little Calvin and Hobbes sequence that I think many people can relate to on this very subject:
Calvin and Hobbes
Calvin and Hobbes
Calvin and Hobbes
Calvin and Hobbes

 I made our cards last year, but this year I went quick and simple and ordered cheap ones online. The photo of us is from last year, but we pretty much look the same (I'll attach our card at the end of this post). Besides, it's not how beautiful, clever, or cool the card is that matters. It's really not a competition ladies. 

Rachel sent us her Christmas Card story and the adventure she had getting it. 

"I wanted to share with you my Christmas card fiasco."

"So the past few years my husband and I have done Christmas cards with a photo of us, and this year I wanted to make it a little more interesting by including our dog, Lexie. I saw this pin of 40 Christmas Card photo ideas with dogs and thought I'd try one of them."

"I decided on this one:"

The Original Pin

"because our Lexie is a fellow German girl like the pup in the picture, and I thought it'd be pretty easy to recreate since Lexie always has a stick in her mouth anyway." 

"The first part of finding a "Christmas Tree Stick" was pretty easy. We clipped it off a try and then stuck a simple ornament on the end of it. Next we rounded Lexie up, grabbed the camera and handed her the stick. Easier said than done! I swear to you Lexie is always gathering sticks, playing fetch and gnawing on them, but this time she wanted nothing to do with it! She would not keep it in her mouth long enough to snap a single photo."

"We gave up pretty quickly, but then I had the idea to put some peanut butter on the stick, so that maybe it'll heighten her interest. I wanted to be sure to get them printed in time, which meant I only had time after work to do it. My husband gets home after it's dark out, so I had to handle both posing Lexie and taking the photo on my own." 

The Pinstrosity

"As you can see, she finally held the stick, but it was so awkward and hard to get her to pose nicely with it. In many of the pictures her eyes are freakishly bugged out and in many other you can see the peanut butter on her gums." 

"In the end, I am grateful I have a husband who knows how to use photo shop."

The Pin Spin

"Our card wasn't exactly what I had in mind but still a big hit nonetheless. If you want to try this for next year, I wold recommend peanut butter, a second hand, and someone who can use photo shop!"

"Merry Christmas!"

Working with animals is often don't know what to expect (even if you think you). An animal can be well trained and still get camera shy. Just be patient, stay calm, be adaptive, and have treats on hand. Sometimes everything will go just as planned, and sometimes you have to adapt. I was doing a goofy shoot for fun at my aunts house, taking portraits of her chickens, when we came up with the idea of bringing in their "big mean pit bull" (Patch is the coolest dog) and posing him with the chicks. I originally had the picture in my head of Patch sitting up tall with the chicks at his feet, but he wanted to be down on the same level as the chicks. So we let him lay down and he let the chicks crawl all over him. In the end I loved that picture more than the one I originally had in my head.

So just go with the flow and be might end up with something completely different from what you planned (as both Rachel and I did), but it may still be wonderful.

I hope your final Christmas and Holiday preparations are going well and that you have a season of peace and joy wherever you are. 

Snowglobe Template by The Sleeping Willow


  1. I can't do Photoshop, so I wound up making the entire background white on our cards. Luckily, it's cute enough. Yours turned out cute!

  2. Let me just say, any blog post featuring a Calvin and Hobbes strip is a win in my book.

  3. What about when you have no cute lil' family and no pets? Do you just send a picture of yourself standing awkwardly in front of a Christmas tree (or some other wintery place)? Do you try to get creative? Do you go the pre-made store-bought card route? Do you just not send cards at all? Or maybe you borrow someone else's family and pet and get awkwardly creative with that? So many options!

    1. Oh man...the possibilities are endless. I do think the borrowed family and pet would be hilarious...and then you can write a fake letter about what the fake family did all year (my sister-in-law's family did that one year and it was hilarious). You could get a picture of you standing under mistletoe puckered up at the camera (my brother did one once of him wearing a headband that held mistletoe over his head). Or a picture of you sitting on Santa's lap at the mall. Or a picture of you making snow angels (obviously this one depends on where you live).

  4. Wow, I love the card. And the out-takes. That twig must have been really good with all that peanut butter! I've been putting up the same 'dog-in-reindeer-headband' on-line for years as my Christmas card. Maybe I should try a new photo this year!

  5. I think if I tried the dog holding branch it would turn out the same. I love how the final versions of both turned out.

  6. Wow, I love all those cards! And I love the blooper reel of the puppy, too!

  7. Hello!

    I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

    Man and Van Woking

  8. So funny! The end result for the dog card was really cute though. Thanks for sharing!

  9. OMG, me and my daughter laughed a lot with this post...
    We LOVE your blog.


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