Holiday cards

I love holiday cards.  I always have.  My parents sent a picture of Hilary and me every year, religiously, so I grew up with the tradition.  The photographs from each year of our childhood are all displayed, framed in my parents’ kitchen now.  I start thinking about my annual card in the summer and feel rising excitement as we get closer and closer to the season when the mailbox is stuffed with pictures and updates from around the world.

I suspect that part of why I love the tradition of sending cards is how disparate my friends are; people I love are scattered around the world, from my childhood in Europe to my sleepover camp days to my college friends who are not nearby.  I spend hours choosing the photograph(s) for our card, but I’m equally as interested in the words that accompany the images.  The other day I pulled out the box I keep copies of each year’s card (and birth announcement, christening and birthday party invitation, and Valentine card, and so on).  It was wonderful to leaf through them, to remember where I – and we – were each year, to trace Grace and Whit’s astonishing growth.

2002 – With a photograph of an infant Grace, Matt, and myself, I included James Baldwin’s lines: “Trust life, and it will teach you, in joy and sorrow, all you need to know.”

2003 and 2004 – I just used a single picture of Grace, and a simple card that said “Peace and Joy”

2005 – I began working with an outstanding designer, of Beaumont Design.  The cards from now on always had several pictures.  This year it said “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”

2006 – “Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time”

2007 – “Dona Nobis Pacem” (inside, the translation: grant us peace)

2008 – “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” (the only phrase I’ve ever repeated, and that’s mostly because I believe it so fiercely)

2009 – Love came down at Christmas, love all lovely, love divine.”

2010 – “May the wind be always at your back.” (from one of my favorite prayers, which begins “may the road rise to meet you“)

2011 – “Happy Everything”

2012 – Another of my most beloved quotes.  Many of you will receive it soon.

Do you send holiday cards?  Do you like the tradition?



22 thoughts on “Holiday cards”

  1. I LOVE holiday cards. And birth announcements (did I send you one? I have been awful about actually getting them out). And birthday invitations.

    I just got our picture gallery last night, and unfortunately, I’m not really happy with my choices. Boo.I’m in holiday card limbo. But there will be one!

  2. We do send cards, and we’re in love with this tradition as well. Capturing our family, the moment, the year.

    (And the disparate-ness of loved ones? Yes. Me, too.)

  3. And Allison, you’ll be glad to know that for the first time since 2007, one of the pictures on the card is of all four of us! 🙂

  4. Since my daughter’s arrival and because my husband’s camera shy, we take a snapshot of our threesome at a church luncheon every year. Then I take an avery label and squeeze in a summary of our year together and lately I’ve found a quote to tie it all together and affix it to the back of the photo. It’s my budget-friendly ritual and I look forward to it every November. This year’s quote is from Bob Hope who talks about looking back to Christmas past and realizing that the simple moments not the big occasions are what are most important and memorable. Your cards and quotes are breathtaking. Merry Christmas to you.

  5. I am a big card person, too. In fact, it may be the only Christmas tradition I hold fast to. Except for the year we traveled around the world, I think I’ve sent one every year of my adult life. I, too, spend all year thinking about it and hours pouring over photos. The past two years I’ve done a card design with a photo of the three of us on the front and, in the inside, four photos, one corresponding to each season with a little blurb about the highlight of our spring, summer, fall and winter. It’s a way to give people an idea of our year without it turning into a newsletter. Like you, we have friends and family all over the world, and it’s fun to give and receive these yearly greetings.

  6. We send out cards every year too! We just send a picture, a 4×6, along with a little xmas note. I actually LOVE the xmas notes and updates from people…even the dear ones I see every day…to see what they highlight and for me to send silent blessings to them as I read through their notes. Yes, every year. I too keep all the notes etc we send out!!! I love to leaf through them. My mom sends out VALENTINE’s instead of xmas cards! it’s a true delight and adds a sense of warmth and connection right in the middle of the winter months. Love, Lisa

  7. I HATE doing Christmas cards. Yet I can’t imagine not doing it. I think one of the reasons it’s difficult is because I have to face all of the people I am only in touch with at the holidays. But I love getting them:)

  8. Oh, Lindsey! I love that you use such original quotes and thoughts in your holiday cards. What a great way make them so much more special. You’ve inspired me and now I’m thinking of what I really want to say in our card.

    I love all of the cards we get and I save them all. It’s fun to see how the kids change and get a glimpse of what is happening in their lives. I waffle between just one picture or four or five because it is so hard to just pick one. 🙂

    Those who are on your holiday card list are very, very blessed.

  9. Huge fan of the holiday card tradition and yours are just lovely. I would like to take a page from your book next year and put a little more time and effort into them. Too often I wait until I’m feeling the stress of the holidays and rushing eclipses my enjoyment.

    Interesting to see and read about your transition from photos of the kids to a photo that includes all of you. I’m always fascinated by who goes with what approach.

  10. Your cards are beautiful, simple, and show such emotion. I have a book I’ve kept of every holiday card I’ve sent, with descriptions of how we celebrated the holidays, and where we were and who we were with. It’s so fun to look back at the memories every year! I also keep a copy for each kid, so they will have a set for their own adult memory books.

  11. I love sending cards and always spend time selecting photos, and I somehow never thought to put my favorite quotes on them. I’m smacking my head right now.
    That Irish blessing is one of my family’s favorite poem’s, too. This summer, my sister got the first line tattooed on her forearm while in Galway.

  12. Gorgeous photos!

    I struggle with the tradition. I really don’t like putting “happy holidays” on a card to people I know are celebrating Christmas. Not just generic “holidays.” (I’m the Jew who is always in Christmas’s corner).

    That said, probably 80% of the people on my list are Jewish. So putting Merry Christmas is a little random. And if Jews are really going to send other Jews cards in mass amounts saying “Happy Holidays” it ought to be in September/October when we have our BIG holidays.

    See, I overthink everything. OY VEY.

  13. I sent my first Christmas card last year. I wish I was joking! I had to get out of the Holiday card design business to muster up the will to make it happen! Ha!

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