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Friday, November 19, 2010

The Chrstmas Card Shuffle - Tips for Great Cards

Before the Thanksgiving turkey has even made it to the table, people start thinking about Christmas cards. I am aiming to have my Christmas cards out this year by the first week in December. That said, if you get your card sometime in early January, don't say I didn't warn you!

I used some of the pictures from our family photo shoot this summer and but I had to edit them to make them more suitable for Christmas cards.

The main problem with summer pictures was photo-shopping out the forehead mosquito bites! We recolored this one to make it look less summery.

 This one just needed recoloring and cropping...

 While this one was rotated and recolored...

 You probably recognize this from the blog header (this will be on the flip side of the card).

While I consider myself to be a relatively intelligent, rational person, the selection of Christmas cards reduced me to a quivering mess. Geez Louise, I am can be indecisive! After FINALLY selecting the pictures we wanted, I put out a Twitter plea for people to vote on which of the "Big Three" online stationers (Snapfish, Shutterfly and TinyPrints) they liked the best. I had considered using pricier stationery stores, but let's be honest, these are Christmas cards, not wedding invitations. There is no way I am shelling out $5 a card for Christmas cards, no matter how cute they are. While most voted for Shutterfly, I went with TinyPrints because I fell in love with one of their cards immediately.  Here is what we are sending out...

 All I need now is a house elf that will address and stamp all of my cards for me. Where is Dobby when you need him?

Quick tips for great Christmas cards:
  1. Do them now before the hubbub of the holidays overtakes you!
  2. Get in close to take pictures. Don't be afraid to lay on the ground or other craziness.
  3. When in doubt hire a photographer. We got a friend from church to take these pictures for a fraction of the price we would have been charged by a studio professional.
  4. Get the rights to the digital files. I was able to edit the high-res pictures myself that way.
  5. Keep clothing simple (minimal prints, coordinating colors but not too "matchy-matchy").
  6. Well-fed, well-rested children + silly distractions +/- bribery make for great pictures.
  7. Bribery, bribery, bribery of children. Spoken like a true Nigerian. Kidding. Maybe.

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