Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Holiday Cards from Shutterfly

Hey family and friends back East who read this blog? Remember the Christmas cards you got from me last year? How about the hand-embroidered cards I sent out in college? Oh that's right, you never got them, because those cards existed only in my head and never made it into existence, let alone into the mail.

In truth, I did manage to give out a few of the Portland-specific Mount Hood/Trillium Lake in winter cards (with the PC message, "Season's Greetings!") last year. But I still have more than half of them in my "misc card" drawer, along with the postcards from vacations I took years ago and forgot to write or send. The embroidered Christmas cards made it as far as a test Christmas tree on some scrap fabric. Maybe one card got finished and mailed (months late) to my best friend in Germany.

The Internet is much more convenient than hand-embroidery. Shutterfly makes it easy to send holiday cards. This year, friends and family, expect to get cards from me. Because my housemates and I will be taking a photo in front of the fireplace with Christmas sweaters. This includes the cat and dog; they too will be wearing sweaters. There's even an option to have Shutterfly stamp and mail cards for you. That's so easy, I could have done it in college, even though the holiday season so conveniently coincides with finals, because in college I had some pretty awesome Christmas card photos.

That's me with my roommates in 2005. Two of those ladies were the valedictorian of their graduating class.

That is very nearly my ideal Christmas card photo. The campus apartment
blue furniture, cluttered kitchen counters, and liquor outlet on top of the fridge isn't my ideal background. We did take a picture in similar outfits outside of our apartment building, with an accordion (because we were singing carols to our neighbors) and flakes of the winter's first snow falling around us. But my eyes are closed in that picture.

So part of my standard for a great holiday card design would be its suitability for usage with that particular photo.

My three favorite choices from Shutterfly's Christmas photo cards are as follows.

* Holly Frame Christmas I might be partial to this because the kid in the photo looks kind of like I did at that age (or at least how I imagine myself &mdash cute!), but I really like the simplicity of this design. The red, green, and white color scheme with a simple cluster of holly (you know how I love all things botanical) says, "Christmas" without being too busy or interfering with the subject of your photo. The 5x7" landscape is the perfect layout for my four-person photo of choice. Not everyone can pose just in line with the written greeting, with a twinkly out-of-focus background, like this adorable child, but I think the simple border would do my Apartment 46 Christmas Card Photo justice. As you can see, it works for a single photo, so if your housemates won't pose with you and you are left with this:

you can still use this design. This one is probably my favorite.

* Mod Snowflakes From the title alone, I'm sure it comes as no shock to those who know me that this is my second favorite holiday card design. Check it out! There's a simple reason that I like this card design. The colors. It may not be red and green, but it's so cool! It's festive, without being tied to any specific winter holiday, and the different colors and sizes of the snowflakes just make me happy! It will really stand out on the recipients' mantle, piano, table, whatever. Also, no two of those snowflakes are alike. As a scientist, I approve.

* Sweet and Retro Christmas Card Last but not least, I like this flat card design. The olive green, cream, and berry red set it apart from more common crimson and pine tree green, but it's still Christmassy. The photo size wouldn't work for my four-person Apartment 46 Christmas Card photo, but had we posed differently, with two in the front and two in the back, it would have worked. It's great for a family photo or couples photo, too. Or even a single photo like my 2008 Christmas Tree Hat solo Christmas card photo. That hat just says, "Wonderful Time" to me! I like this design because it is simple, but the colors and big fancy script stand out. I think I just like all things "retro" too.

And it's not too late for Thanksgiving cards! I like the third design in, Fall Fun. If you are procrastinator like me, or if you are too busy with finals to think about Christmas cards, there are these New Year’s cards, too. And then when you get lots of sweet presents, you can send out personalized thank you cards.

I'm excited to send these out this year! Now that I live 3,000 miles from most of my friends and family and 6,000 miles from my best friend Marie, I have a new appreciation for snail mail, and it's a great way to share with my faraway family the experiences and new people in my life here in Oregon.

Do you want 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly? Click here to go to Shutterfly for information on how you can get 50 free cards this holiday season, and make sure to select Clever 1000 as the referral source.

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

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