Every year November and December seem to fly by! While these months are full of special memories, traditions, and celebrations, it can be easy to let them pass without really getting to savor the moments that make them so magical. Photos and videos allow us to stop and take a second to appreciate the moment, and they remind us of those moments as they become memories. This holiday season, Picture This Organized wants to help you make memories and enjoy your time with family or friends. With this holiday guide, you will not only know what you want to check off of your winter bucket list, but how to capture each moment along the way.
The holiday season is upon us, and schedules can get crazy. With your to-do list growing and the calendar filling up, the chaos becomes an opportunity for hilarious holiday outtakes and epic fails. But, in the midst of it all, remember what’s truly important and roll with whatever the holiday season brings.
Expectations may be high, and while we imagine pulling off the perfect holiday gatherings, those unexpected moments become the memories we cherish the most. Be ready to capture reactions when you forget to defrost the turkey or drop the pie, the tree falls over, guests show up late, or the kids cry in the family photo. How you manage these imperfect moments becomes a priceless story that you and your loved ones will laugh about for years to come. In fact, we believe you should highlight misadventures and embrace real life whenever possible.
November is here, and that means it’s time to start thinking about this year’s holiday card.
While we may receive a few embossed cards with an artful image on the front and a thoughtful sentiment inside, at least 75 percent of the cards we receive every year feature photos.
Looking at photos in our holiday cards keeps us connected to friends and family far away. We get to watch children grow and celebrate milestones like graduations and weddings that have happened over the previous year.
Because it’s fun to receive news and pictures from friends at the holidays, many of us also enjoy sending our own photo cards every year. But coordinating and executing that family photo card can add to the stress of preparing for the holiday season.
To help lighten the load, and throw some creative fun into the mix, we’ve created our 2018 Holiday Greeting Guide. Some of these ideas might just surprise you! (more…)
So you’ve decided the write a letter to include with your holiday card. Every year you’ve read the letters from your friends and thought to yourself “I’ll do that next year.” Well this is it!
If you’re like me, you have a favorite style that you look forward to reading. And it’s likely not the 3-page version that chronicles each and every event that occurred in the family’s past 12 months! In the final part of this series, I’ll share some pitfalls to holiday letter writing and some suggestions for sharing the best of your year!
Guidelines for Writing a Holiday Letter (that everyone will read)!
- Sharing accomplishments can be tricky. If you only include the highlights without sprinkling some real life challenges along the way, it can be off-putting.
- Don’t use a tiny or script-type font that’s barely distinguishable. If the average reader needs a magnifying lens to read your letter – it’s too small.
- Share milestone events without too much elaboration. I’d venture to guess that most mailing lists include a mix of close friends, family and those we only communicate with during the holidays. I’m going out on a limb here, but in my opinion, most readers aren’t interested in the elaborate details.
- Medical updates are another tricky area. Our loved ones care about our health but unlikely to be interested in the gory stuff. So if you’re thinking about how to include the x-rays from your latest operation, guess again! Just sayin!
- Poems can be fun to write and nauseating to read. They can be cute or downright cheesy. Is that what you’re going for? Just my opinion.
- Be careful how you share your travels because frankly, it can sound braggadocious. “We took a trip to Italy” sounds better than “Our luxury trip to Italy started with a private guide through Florence.” Even if the second version is true, why are you sharing this?
- Who really cares about your letter? If you’ve keep it brief and newsy, it might work to share it with the whole list. However, do your work acquaintances care about your children’s achievements? Might want to spare them the trouble.
- Do you have something to share? Some years have more news/updates than others. The photos can be the update. Wouldn’t you agree that a photo of your daughter’s wedding tells the story?
- Include a hand-written note. Even if you’ve included a letter, you could at least sign your name or include a short phrase such as “Always look forward to hearing from you”.
Writing a holiday letter doesn’t have to be difficult. You can involve your family and let each person write their own year’s summary. If you would like some help with this process, contact us. We can help you share your year’s story.
This is the year. You’re determined to send a holiday card and you want to include photos. If this is our first time down this road, there are a three considerations: timeline, people, and style.
What’s your Timeline?
Do you want this to arrive before the holidays? Or are you content with having it arrive sometime before the New Year chimes in? The timing can affect whether you can involve a professional photographer. You need to allow enough time for scheduling the photo shoot, ordering the card, processing (1-2 weeks) and then sending it. Some card companies offer a mail option which does all the work for you. However, that’s an extra cost to factor in.
Who’s in the Photo?
The people to include in your card is a pretty important decision. If you want a family group photo, then there are more pieces to the puzzle. But don’t despair, you might already have a photo that you can use. It doesn’t have to be taken within the past month. Something from the current year is best.
What’s Your Style?
If you want something done professionally, then you’ll need to get this scheduled pronto. Some photographers have Thanksgiving or holiday specials so if your family will be together at that time, you might just hit the timing perfectly. Select a photographer with experience so that your financial investment pays off. We learned the hard way, that the local discount store deal isn’t always a sound investment. It does get the job done but not always a timeless decision. I’m thinking this faux fall background doesn’t exactly say “Classy” does it?
Using a professional photographer is a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone – to replace that out-dated photo on your mantle and to share on your holiday card!
If you go with some candid shots, these don’t have to be posed or even coordinated. Just look through photos you already have. Find moments that tell the story of a family event or milestone. Look for those photos that draw you in or capture rare events. You don’t have to use just one but be careful not to use too many. Keep in mind, the more photos, the smaller each one will be making it difficult to truly see the moment shared. Lesson learned….
You can easily take your own photo using your smartphone to get a pretty good picture. Just make sure you’re in good lighting. Coordinate the clothing so individuals don’t stand out. One person in a white t-shirt next to the rest of the gang in dark colors – you get the picture! A familiar environment such as your backyard can work nicely. Just pay attention to what’s in the background. Remember this is an opportunity to share an update on your family – it doesn’t need to be perfect.
For a themed photo, be mindful of your subjects. One year we thought it would be cute to feature our son and the dog as “Santa and his Reindeer” theme. Instead of Cute we ended up with Confused! Paying attention to the background would have been smart – notice the basket of tulips on the hearth!
Making the Card
Selecting the photos is the hardest part. The next step is to select the card style and publisher. Over the years I’ve used Costco, Walgreens and Tiny Prints. Look for a style that matches your preferences and pricing to match your budget. Just upload the photos, add a personal message, your signature and place the order.
If you’d like some help with the mechanics of choosing photos and creating the card, let us know. We’ve been down this road before and can help you get this done! Just contact us and set up a phone call to learn more about how this works.
Next Step – Writing the Holiday Letter!
It’s the holiday season – that time of year when holiday cards and letters arrive – in the mail! This tradition can be a rare opportunity to reconnect with loved ones from our lives. The card we choose, the photos we use and the message we send are telling indicators of our relationships and the things we value the most.
We live in an age when we share more about our ideal selves and less about our true selves. Between trying to measure up to that standard and thinking about sending a holiday card, the whole process could feel absolutely overwhelming. In this 3-part series, I’ll share tips for easily creating a personal holiday card and letter. And you’ll see some real examples of the lessons my family has learned from our attempts at holiday cards through the years!
What’s the message you want to share?
Our family enjoys opening cards with photos of our loved ones enjoying everyday moments and milestones together. Our holiday card is all about Christmas. We try to select photos that provide a visual update. The past year’s blessings & challenges are shared in a short letter with plenty of humility and self-deprecating humor sprinkled in!
So as you think about your holiday card, give some thought to the message you want to send this year. Next step, Choosing the Photos. If you like these ideas but want some help making it happen, contact us. We can help you!