OUR FAMILY CHRISTMAS CARDS
I think I maybe say this every November... but where has the year gone? I mean, how is it almost Christmas already?! In 'Merica, November 1 is the unofficial start of the holiday season. You know, Starbucks has its holiday cups, Target has its Wondershop, and finally, finally, its not a billion degrees outside. And you know what also is happening? FREAKING. CHRISTMAS. CARDS.
That's right. I said it. And I used all caps. Because I am so excited to get the internet caught up on all of our Christmas cards for the last six years. Between our family on the East Coast and our family in England, we don't always get to see everyone over the holidays, so our cards are often times our version of a gift to the family we don't get to see. We take a lot of care in putting them together: getting photos taken, designing the cards, prepping the envelopes... it's a long process, and a LOT of work. But it's also weirdly one of my most favorite parts of the holidays.
Side note: I seriously wish I had saved the envelopes for each year as well (we usually do a different color every year, a custom liner, and some type of fancy printing or label), but sadly I haven't kept any of them. This is totally shocking, as I am a gigantic pack-rat and like keeping all sorts of paper goods. You'll just have to trust me on how epic they were.
In our first year of marriage, we were gifted some printing and thought we would use it to print a one-off Christmas card for our friends and family. We spent an evening making outfits out of cheap wrapping paper and snapped a couple of photos. Little did we know, this would soon become a yearly tradition. Also, can we just take a minute to talk about how long my hair was??
For our second card, we decided to keep with our theme of dressing up. We went out and bought some holiday onesies and hats and headed to the beach. This might have been the first year we weren't going to be in England for the holidays, so we thought it best to send a bit of the beach to our family abroad.
For this card, we wanted to embrace the ugly sweaters that were all the rage over the holiday season. We donned our ugliest sweaters, went down to the only outdoor ice-rink in San Diego and did a combined photoshoot of ice skating and beach walking. This year was the first (and last) where we decided to tie kitchen twine to the inside of each card. They were gorgeous, but added a ridiculous amount of time onto the already insane production schedule.
This one was a big year. In 2013, we bought our first home and wanted to commemorate the occasion on our annual Christmas card. It was one of our most low-key photoshoots—no costumes, no props, no special location... just the two of us and our new home. I took one of my favorite Christmas songs (by The Carpenters) and added the lyrics to our card.
Four years after we were married, we finally took a honeymoon. And oh boy, did we take a honeymoon. We spent 16 days exploring Thailand, and had an incredible time. Since our honeymoon was our big trip that year (which meant we wouldn't be able to also head out to the U.K.) we wanted to share some highlights of our travels with our friends and fam. We even printed out a separate insert to visit our YouTube channel and watch our Thailand videos (seriously, go watch them!) And even though it wasn't super Christmasy, us riding elephants seemed like an obvious choice for the front of our card.
Well this one was a very special year. So if ya didn't know, we had a very troublesome pregnancy and I had actually been on bedrest in the hospital right before these photos were taken. If I'm honest, I really didn't want to take photos. I didn't even want to send Christmas cards that year. We had almost lost our son, multiple times, and it just didn't seem like a good idea. But Jonathan convinced me otherwise, and I am so glad he did. We even broke our 'strict-hospitalized-bedrest-at-home' rule for one day, and one day only, and went out to take these photos. I think my favorite part of the 2015 card, apart from our HOMEMADE COSTUMES, was the verse we had on the back. We choose a verse every year for our cards, and this is one we clung to after we were sent home from the hospital.
Our first Christmas with our little babe and we had a lot to celebrate! Before Sebastian was born, we settled on a Dr. Seuss theme for his nursery, and it seemed like the obvious choice to continue it onto our Christmas card with a Grinch theme! We bought a custom-crocheted Grinch hat on Etsy and dressed Sebastian in a Santa onesie. I added a custom Grinch pattern to the back of the card, used it as part of our envelope liners, and even used added a Grinch icon on the address labels. We had a bit of stress getting everything prepared and completed for this one, but it was so, SO much fun to send out the final piece.
I think I may know your next question. What are the Woolleys doing this year? Well, we did think up a theme, had costumes and props ready, and even invested in some professional photographs... but this year we have an-almost-two-year-old. Which means almost-two-year-old-tantrums. Where this is the first year we have EVER been prepared for our card (and before Thanksgiving no less), the one person we needed to cooperate... wanted nothing to do with dressing up. SO, we will come up with something great (#NoPressure). But we also keep our cards tightly under wraps until we send them out. So you'll just have to wait!
Wishing you all a lovely holiday season!