Cards of Christmas Past and Present

I just LOVE Christmas cards. Our family has done them from the very first year of our marriage. Sixteen years of cards people! I look forward to the whole process. I love to have the picture taken, choose a card, buy the stamps, lick the envelopes, print the labels, check off my lists….I expressed my disappointment on Facebook about how sad it is that people just don't send Christmas cards these days. A variety of reasons was given for not sending them… Dying tradition, no time, not in the budget…I understand. It is a cost and it does take a lot of time.  I urge those of you that haven't done one in years…go the day after Christmas this year and buy some at 1/2 off. That's how I afforded them in our early years of marriage. I was literally waiting at the door to Not Just Stationary at 10 am the day after Christmas. 

So, here ya go. A peek into a few of our cards. These were the ones that were easy to get to. The older ones are stored in a cabinet with ACTUAL PICTURES. We started cards when pictures were actually developed and added to the card.  I just don't have time to go through all those boxes and find them…one day maybe (story of my life).  The quality isn't the best, as these are scanned copies. 

Above is our 2012 card. Yes, I am aware that our twelve year old is my exact height. No comment. I have a dear friend, Kathleen Brown, who designs and prints our cards every year now. She's an amazing artist and takes so much pride in her art. She's  well known here in Gainesville. She's working on her website if you interested in her work. Look her up soon. The company is Dot Dot Goose. You will see from several of my cards that she's so talented and I love her style! Our photographer is another great friend. She has the ability to make you totally relax and look like yourself.  She is so creative and just blows me away with her work!  Her name is Sarah McClendon and you can find her at Sarah McClendon Photography.  She's taken our picture for the past three cards! Take a peek at our last photo shoot.  Doesn't hurt that her dad (my Oncologist by the way!)owns this gorgeous alpaca farm in Gainesville. Makes for a terrific location for shoots!

Here's a peek at the inside of the 2012 card. I took some inspiration from a Tiny Prints card and made this on Picasa. Kathleen had the printer add it to our card.  Sorry, you cannot see the verse very well.

This was our 2011 card. Sarah took the picture and Kathleen designed the card. I love that Palmer has this hat on in the picture. It will always remind me of the time in his life when he loved wearing hats. 

This is our 2010 Card.  Sarah was our photographer and Kathleen designed the card.  I remember two things about this card.  It was like 20 below in November when we took this picture. It was taken on an old covered bridge in a park on the lake. The wind was blowing so hard and we were literally FROZEN. It took us a week to thaw out! The other thing…I had battled breast cancer that whole year. I had been diagnosed in February. I'd had my last surgery in September of that year. I was blessed to be alive. Blessed to be there with my family.  Blessed to have another Christmas.

This was the inside of our 2010 card. I found the first verse in a card somwhere. Kathleen and I came up with the rest. So fitting.

This was our 2009 card. My Mom took these pictures for us. We were on the beach in Pensacola, FL. The pictures were all so lovely that I came up with a collage to include several. Tiny Prints had the perfect card for this laid back beach session.

I had to show you the inside of this 2009 card. The dainty little font just makes me smile every time! The little polka dots bring such joy! Happy, Happy!

I'm guessing that this is our 2008 card. I'm terrible about not writing dates on things.  Shame on me, I know. My sister took this picture for us.  She's a photographer (another talented gal!). She moved to Florida several years ago and that's why I have Sarah do our pictures now.  We visited for Thanksgiving this year and she took us over to a GORGEOUS park literally across the street from her. It's on the St. Johns river and is breathtaking.  This is one of those cards that I got at a 50% off sale the year before the picture was actually taken.  I just always made the picture fit the card.  Always worked well. I only got burned once. All 100 of those cards are still in the basement with labels printed. I just couldn't make those cards fit with the picture we took that year! You all know what a sucker I am for a bargain. I paid $20 for this dress. It was on clearance and I still wear it to this day! The card is by: Stacy Claire Boyd.

And then there are years when you just cannot find the time to take pictures. Or you just didn't find a card you liked. Or you just ran out of time. Either one.  So, I just decided to make the best of it and feature a trip to the brand new Georgia Aquarium. I make a collage and printed them at Target. Palmer's not a ham. Not one bit. Nope. Still isn't. Look at the size of those fish in the upper left…if you go visit now, those fish are huge!!!

Who says you can't act like a kid?  I knew we didn't have my sister to take the picture for us that year, so I ask my friend Patty to take it at her son's birthday party.  See how easy it is to get a great picture? I knew that inflatables would be the perfect backdrop! See the Incredible's (one of my all time favorite kids movies!!) ring on my finger?

My BFF, Lori and her family met us at the famous Pink Pig in Atlanta around Thanksgiving. I handed her my camera and "snap", the perfect picture! Once again, I made the picture fit the card I had bought the year before! I knew I had an eclectic, crazy dancing reindeer card so I was game for a wacky background. This was part of the fencing around the track where you take a spin on the pig train! This card is by The Inviting Company.

And this is where is skips like 5-6 years! I had these next few in an album that was easy to get to.  This is the year 1999.  We were building our house and I thought it would be cute to snap a picture in front of it!   I was barely pregnant with Palmer. No one knew except us.  We waited a whole two weeks to tell our family because we wanted to surprise everyone on Christmas day!  We wrapped up pacifiers and gave them to the grandparents. It was such a fun day!! Our dear Stratford was only 3 at the time.  He was our first baby. He managed to be our baby for 15 years. He's playing with the doggy angels in heaven now.

This is the inside of the 1999 card. I loved the "from our house to yours" spin on this one!

And here we are. Um, yeah. I love how our cards have documented our lives throughout the years.  Lots of weight has been lost (Todd) and gained (me-ugg!) over the years. Different hairsyles have come and gone as well. Ah, life. What fun! My sister took this picture at her house. I am pretty sure it's the second year of our marraige.  Look how I'm giving Stratford reindeer antlers!

I typed up this poem and included it our cards that year.

Stratford was the star this year.  I remember I was pregnant and felt terrible.  I remember that all I did to decorate was to put a tree (look how "decorated" it is-where are the ornaments? I must have felt terrible!).


This is the little poem that went inside the card that year that it was only Stratford. We had our own baby on the way. Imagine carrying a child, knowing that HE would one day give his life for you. For all of us.  To die on a cross. To wipe out our sins. We have hope and eternal life because he was born.



Sarah's number is :678-622-4721. Kathleen's number is : 770-287-8760.


6 Responses to Cards of Christmas Past and Present

  1. Oh, up until this year I have been a devoted Christmas Card sender (for 24 years!!!) and now this year…I didn't do it.  I don't know what was wrong but I couldn't muster the stuff this year.  I promise to get back on the wagon next year!!!  We can't let a beautiful tradition die!
    I love seeing your cards from years past and I can't believe how grown up Palmer looks.  He is growing into a handsome young man!!!  I know you are so proud of that sweet boy.  Love ya, dear friend.

  2. Gail Godfrey says:

    Loved, loved, loved this walk down Memory Lane!  So thankful you are o.k. now and able to post family pictures of some of the people I hold dear to my heart!

  3. i love it! so great!! you have great taste in cards and a beautiful fam.

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