Holiday Card: Behind the Scenes (again)


Since Christmas Ground Zero (following Zoe’s birth in 2010), every year I’ve obsessed over the holiday card photo, and several times I’ve blogged about it (see here). So why break a tradition?

Here’s the real story behind this year’s holiday card, uncensored (though in fairness, it was two months ago, and my memory is “fair”).

As with every other year, I was determined to get a Santa photo that recreates the one that got away in 2016. Every year, either the lame Santa or my uncooperative children fail to deliver something awesome, and we end up with something GREAT (like above) but not remarkable. Ok Ok, our children are remarkable, but that’s not my point.

Anyway, this year was no different. Santa showed up at the mall on Nov 22, and we were there on Nov 24, first in line, having booked an appointment in advance. I won’t whine much, but I will say that the “cream satin” they now use for Santa’s background is a photography nightmare. Everyone gets washed out, the scene looks cold, and there are annoying reflections. Then again, no one’s asking me.

But given that, we always take pictures around the mall with trees or other decorations in the background, in hopes of getting something Holiday Card worthy. We even take pictures in the Santa line, with those fake red and gold huge ornaments as a backdrop.

Here’s how that ended up:


We even tried using a red wall at Target (we had a little girl black tights emergency hole… so our trip started there this year).


None rose to the Holiday Card level, and so, as has happened in other years past, we ended up using one of our pictures from earlier in the year. I checked all the coupons and all the one-photo layouts for the major photo sites, and, knowing we didn’t have much time this year to make a card, we ended up here.


Each year we send out around 150 cards, and I love every minute of it – even the moments in the past few years when our children help. You know what I mean by that. We have an assembly line approach where the girls trade off putting on the (often crooked) return address and postage stamps.

Zoe will write a few addresses before getting bored and may stuff some envelopes. Ella will literally wander off during any part of the process, and Bart wets a sponge and seals the deal. Made with love from the Johnsons.

I also love every single card we receive, and we hang them on a wall in the kitchen, which by January 2nd is absolutely full of the fabulous faces of our friends and family from all over the world. I’m always amazed by friends who type out stories of their year or even write a short note (sometimes with our names on it!).

I can barely get cards made, stamped, addressed and sealed. I like to believe that each card will make someone smile at the other end of its trip, as theirs do for us, and I can assure you it really is with love that we send every one.

And so, the Holiday Card made it through another year. #winning


One thought on “Holiday Card: Behind the Scenes (again)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s