Complicated Christmas Cards: Why Do I Do This to Myself?

This was one of my finalists.

Luscious Verde, a finalist (

I love stationery.  I love it so much I think about having another baby so I can do one more birth announcement.   I already know what I want (Crane’s white panel with a blue or pink bow, simple, back to basics and elegant).

Ever since I sent out a candid black and white shot from my wedding on a nice card (come to think of it, it was a Crane’s panel), I have set the bar higher and higher for myself.  One year it was me and Ward/Mike/Cliff bundled up outside while snowflakes fell.  The next year it was us holding tiny 3 month old E. with the San Francisco Bay Bridge in the background.   And on and on.  A black and white family shot against a thick red William Arthur card.  And my favorite from last year, E. in a sundress and J. in seersucker shorts against a backdrop of blue hydrangeas on Cape Cod with Joy to the World in blue script on the top of the card.

I start thinking of my Christmas picture in the summer.  I usually order my cards by mid-September as my favorite stationery store hold an annual sale and you need to order early to get 20 percent off.  This year, I chose a family picture from the beach.  Problem is with beach scenes it is hard to coordinate with Christmas colors.  And I hate digitized cards- I like the actual photo affixed to the card, no digital images.  They all look the same, even though Tiny Prints and Shutterfly have stepped up the look from the CVS glossy A10 size special.

Right about now, I wish I didn’t hold such high standards for myself, as I have spent way too much time agonizing over the colors, paper weight and cost of our cards this year.  I finally settled on a blue Paper Source foldover card (you tuck the photo inside).  I decided to print the photo with white borders.  Now here’s the hard part: hand punching gold starfish from gold paper and affixing the delicate cut outs with a glue pen.  And I haven’t even started signing them.  Or organizing out my Christmas card database.

I did buy stamps.

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