Family Christmas Cards: The Best Way to Spread Holiday Cheer

The holidays bring out the best and the worst in families. One of my favorite parts of the holidays growing up was always going through the mail to see which Christmas cards we got that day. Six-year-old me would get so excited opening up envelopes and getting to see all my cousins and friends, and even some people’s pets on a colorful Christmas card.

Walking into grandma’s house during December, little me always ran to the bulletin board she had where she would stick all the new Christmas cards for the given year. Aside from receiving Christmas Cards, taking mine was always my favorite part of Christmas.

For the first seven or so years of my life, my mom had our Christmas card professionally taken. I remember getting dressed up in puffy Christmas dresses and squeezing my younger brothers – who only wore suits for Christmas cards – while the photographer agitatedly told three small children, “say cheese!”

As we got older, my dad started taking our Christmas card pictures. Grumpy teenage me and my brothers, who are four years younger than me, wanted nothing to do with each other. The older we got, the less we wanted to take pictures, and the more annoying we all became when we did try to get together to take pictures.

As this December continues, I find myself reminiscing on past Christmas’ at home. This December is the first holiday season away from home for me, and it doesn’t quite feel like Christmas just yet. I had my dad send me some of the older Christmas card pictures of me and my brothers, and realized some of my favorite memories come from the fiascos that happened moments before the printed pictures were taken.

Going down memory lane, I can remember a few really fun years of mayhem and chaos, which are odd words to associate with the holidays but I feel like most people do. One year, I remember my brothers and I had all just gotten ready for bed when my dad told us to get dressed. We wound up goofing around a bunch that year and I remember how we all had pajama pants on with our nice shirts.

My favorite Christmas card that we took was during 2013 or 2014, when we all sat down and couldn’t figure out what we wanted to do this year. Almost every year since we moved into our house, we have taken our Christmas picture in our living room. Our Christmas tree is always lit in the background, or we sometimes took the pictures in front of the fire place. That year, after an hour of shooting, I decided to go bring my 6-foot teddy bear out as a joke. Turns out it worked really well, and we grabbed the other gigantic bear we had laying around the house and all climbed onto them.

Another one of my favorite Christmas cards was taken back in my middle school years, when I had blue streaks in my hair…what a time. This was another year taking Christmas pictures that consisted of a fight or two, followed by someone storming out of the room in frustration. Then, the final masterpiece of three kids goofing around with each other was created yet again.

I am so excited to go home and take Christmas Pictures with my family again this year. It is always such an eventful night, full of some of the best memories I have in December. This year, since I will get home December 21st, it may have to be a “Happy New Years” card, but it will all work out in the end.

December 9th is National Christmas Card Day, so I propose that if your family celebrates Christmas, have your family look back at some of your fun-filled memories of taking Christmas card pictures.

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