I am making a public service announcement that I want EVERYONE to hear:
NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO BE PICTURE PERFECT.
Yes, that’s right. In our world of social media, it seems like everyone’s life is absolute perfection. But trust me, it’s just the Instagram filters and Photoshop tools that make everything seem fantastic as you scroll through your newsfeed in your favorite sweatshirt, listening to your children bicker in the background while you guys eat bland chicken for dinner. Again.
I struggle a lot with this notion because I love home decor and maintaining a neat and tidy house. But I have two energetic, sticky-fingered little boys and a growing business that demands a TON of time. So yes, I have some gorgeous wall hangings that I just love…but I also currently have seven Melissa and Doug puzzles stacked on the fireplace and rogue plastic coral and whales strewn about, as well as a bookcase that is so full it looks like it is going to collapse. Sigh.
Now that I have some years under my “parenting belt”, I have realized that nothing is perfect (except maybe my kids’ beautiful faces when they are fast asleep). Instead, you have to find things that are perfect for you. Case in point? Our imperfectly perfect holiday cards.
Our Holiday Card Conundrum
Since we are a family that celebrates both Hannukah and Christmas, we send out a TON of cards to our family and friends and I always tend to struggle with finding the right wording to appease everyone. So before we had kids, I simply bought different sets of cards to send to people who celebrated either holiday. Everyone was happy, mission accomplished!
But once our adorable son came along, we just HAD to change our holiday card to include photos. I mean, he was just too scrumptious not to! So then my holiday card stress moved to getting a perfect picture of the three of us…and then the four of us…and it never worked out the way I wanted to. I had this crazy notion in my head that our holiday card had to show us in our best, “Pinterest Perfect,” light. But you know what? No one cared but me.
Show Your Personality Through Your Imperfectly Perfect Holiday Card
As I have started to share more of my life on social media through my career as a writer and blogger, I have found that I get the most positive and receptive feedback when I give my social media followers a peek into my “imperfect” moments. Whether it is trying to take once nice Mother’s Day photo (the only day throughout the entire year my youngest son will wear a button down shirt, by the way) but my boys keep photobombing it or moments when I hide in the bathroom to finish polishing off our Halloween loot, those REAL moments are the ones that show my family’s quirky personality and it truly forms a bond with others. I mean, when was the last time you connected with a photo of a stunning family in color coordinated outfits standing in front of a gorgeous home?
So while you might have a great posed family photo, don’t overlook the outtake photos, either. Your photographer probably included them in his/her edits because as an artist, he/she could see and feel the natural emotions in those captures. Sometimes the spontaneous expressions are the perfect way to describe your family’s unique and charismatic personalities and paired with cute wording, it can make for a perfect holiday card.
Nowadays you are probably getting bombarded with all of the different holiday card options, but I like to keep it simple. Either pick one family photo or a collage of all members of the family (including the fur babies, of course!) for your card. If you didn’t manage to book a photo session with one of our favorite local photographers, scroll through your phone to recent vacations or days when you smiled so much your cheeks hurt. Those are the types of days that yield photos that spread the message of joy to friends and family this holiday season.
As for wording, there are tons of different options. We tend to stick to messages of “Merry Everything” due to our friends and family with different backgrounds and cultures but do whatever feels right and matches the vibe of your photo.
Save Money on the Perfect Holiday Card
Lastly, I tend to prescribe to the “more the merrier” holiday card philosophy. And let me tell you…it can get PRICEY. So shop around to find the best holiday card quality that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. I have consistently used Tiny Prints, Minted and Shutterfly after choosing a cheap, unknown website that delivered disappointing holiday cards and I am always happy with the designs, customization, quality, price points, and of course, the quick delivery.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are obviously the best days for deals, so be sure to create your holiday card online, leave it in the “drafts” folder, and have it all set to purchase with all of those glorious discount codes on the biggest shopping days of the year.
Enjoy the holidays!
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