Our Holiday Card – Self Portraits

AHHH – the nostalgic holiday card. Once a year we get an opportunity to mail a card or email a card, which is what we have been doing since we were abroad for 10 years. You may not talk to family and friends for a year or years, but somehow you’re connected by the holiday card (if you even send one). Note to those who never send anything, why do you deserve a greeting? Friendship includes 2 people (to reciprocate). There are 365 days to make an attempt to communicate. No excuses.

The most popular choice (which we are guilty of) – just the children with (matching) outfits, which oftentimes you get the cards and you do not know whose children they are. It might as well have only the children’s names on the cards (because you never see the parents). Note to parents, children look at the cards and even if they know their own friends, they don’t know who the parents are. There are the extended family portraits with (matching) outfits, but you do not know who is who and which children go with which parents, but it does not matter because it is a big group photo. I always love the glamour shots with girls in their velvet dresses wearing makeup looking 10 years older than they are, next to their brothers looking like their age as little men. My view on photography – you only need 1 GOOD PHOTO, not a collage of your children, which makes your 2 children seem like 12 children? No matter what your card looks like, we always appreciate the gesture and thoughtfulness. Thank you for having us on your list.

This year’s card was inspired by artists Julian Opie and Roy Lichtenstein.

With the help of today’s technology, each of our family members drew our own self-portraits a while ago and I thought it would be fun to share them with family and friends. We each decided how to portray ourselves with an individual flair. Makes it interesting especially with young children.

Front of the card: graphic rendering of our four self portraits


Back of the card: our real portraits with signatures

We sent cards by traditional mail, email and social media including FB.

Here are my favorite reactions:

• As I was shoveling snow, our neighbor said hello and picked up her mail. Minutes later, she shouts from across the street, “I just got your card. I love it. It’s my favorite one.” Instant reaction face to face (which is rare). She later said it again at the bus stop, which was very kind of her.

• From a cousin which is not what I expected to hear: “Dang!!! HOT family!!!!  Very creative, very hip.  😉  MERRYCHRISTMAS!!!” She may be a mother of 3 boys but still talks like a tween. Love her enthusiasm and exclamation points. Her children have the best cheerleader for life, who always looks like one too – don’t be haters, other moms.

• From the mother of our daughter’s school friend: “Good luck with her!” She was referring to our 4-year old daughter who chose pink hair for herself. That’s all she said. Not even a happy holidays, which is funny, peculiar and odd, and true to her personality.

• From an aunt who lives abroad who visited us from Switzerland no matter where we lived when I was growing up: “It’s so wonderful to see your family’s pictures and to connect with you again. We miss you. Wow, the kids are so grown-up now. They’re both so beautiful. You and your husband are looking so well too. Time flies. Can’t remember how long ago it was when we saw each other.”

“This is quite possibly the best holiday card ever!!! I love it.”

Lovely to read that people noticed the effort made. Thanks for taking the time to let us know since most people say nothing (throughout the year), which says a lot about them.

Human interaction and connection – something we often lack the rest of the year. We can all do better if we make the effort.

Happy holidays and a peaceful new year from our family to yours.



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