Now THAT is a Christmas card.
Currier and Ives have been replaced with Curt and Eileen, and the whole tradition of card-giving has turned into one big photo competition.
For those who've grown up in the age of mediocre digital printing and convenient online photo services, a Christmas card used to be art on heavy card stock. There were winter scenes (see fig. 1), Santa Claus illustrations, glittery script typography hailing "Peace on Earth", and nativity scenes (can I say "nativity scene" on the internet?) They were all artful, or beautiful, funny, or Snoopy cute, and we hung them on our door or wherever, and it added to the festive color and decoration of the room. They were tiny gifts, and reminders that "we're thinking of you." Sometimes we tucked a photo inside.
Now, I'm not saying your family isn't artful, beautiful, funny or cute, I'm just asking, is that really a gift for me? Are you really thinking of me when you pick that photo of your family skiing in Aspen?
This is the norm, and I realize I am clearly the minority here, because our door at home is a crowd of family portraits on these 'Christmas cards'. It doesn't look very Christmassy though--that's for sure, it looks more like a casting board for a Kraft commercial. I know I'll catch flak from family and friends for saying this, already have from my wife, but I just see it differently. Please understand, I love seeing pictures of you and your kids -- and your dog, but we have Facebook now, so can we get back to sending Christmas cards?
*Pictured Christmas card (above), designer and artist credits unknown.