the annual holiday card countdown has begun

Create Unique holiday cards on

To send holiday cards or not to send holiday cards, that is the question. Well, it’s the question I debate in my mind at this same time every year.  Each year I weigh the expense and the time commitment of ordering, addressing and sending cards next to the benefit of spreading some holiday cheer to the people that I love (and to those that I only sort of know but have been exchanging cards with for years so it’s too late to stop), and every year I come up with the same answer, HECK YES! So every year, just around this time, I begin a familiar ritual of holiday card planning (see typical timeline below, it might look familiar to you too).

Knowing that I would most certainly give in again this year, I was happy to get an email from the artistic folks at asking me to partner with them on getting the word out about their line of holiday cards. Translation: I am being paid for this post, which is ironic because I am most certainly going to turn right around and spend what they pay me on ordering holiday cards from their line because I love their stuff . . . see samples below.

So here’s a theoretical timeline on how I think my holiday card countdown will go this year:

September 7: Debate for four days in my mind on whether or not to take family photos ultimately deciding that yes, we can’t let this long-standing tradition fall prey to our budget or the digital world.

September 17: Frantically remember that good photographers book months in advance and send an email to my photographer from last year asking if she can squeeze me in on a weekday since her weekends for the next three months are undoubtedly already filled by the Bree Van de Kamps of the world. We are Facebook friends after all, so she graciously says yes.

September 27: Realize that crap, I’ve put on 10 lbs over the summer and wonder how many Dailey Method classes and Jillian Michaels DVDs I can squeeze in before the Mid-October Monday night photo shoot.

October 7: Begin questioning my fashion sense when I look through our closets and then wonder what the difference is between matching and color coordinated because God forbid we look like too much like twinseys but not enough like a cohesively artistic and trendy family.

October 21MONDAY of the PHOTO SHOOT – Morning: Realize I did not wash the popsicle stains out of my 5 year old’s color coordinated dress, nor did I make the hair appointment to get a blow out (because who has time to do their own hair on family photo day?), hence I panic, spend an hour trying to pick out entirely new outfits for the family, all of which have stains or holes or missing buttons, and end up going back to the first choice, praying that the awesome photographer/Facebook friend can also Photoshop the stain out of the pic. Also, the weather report says high wind advisory and expletives fly!

October 21MONDAY of the PHOTO SHOOT –Early Afternoon: Bust out a Native American “Good Weather Dance” and run to Ulta to buy Benefit concealer to hide the dark circles from staying up too late the night before catching up on Breaking Bad and the cashew-sized pimple that has erupted on my nose from the family-photo stress. Facebook photographer friend is good, but maybe not THAT good?!?!

October 21MONDAY of the PHOTO SHOOT –TIME FOR THE PHOTOS: Somehow the torrential winds die down, the sun starts to shine, the kids are in a good mood, the Benefit make-up actually does it’s job, and the one hour photo shoot goes swimmingly well because I’ve sold my soul to the devil and because I followed my own advice from last year. And because I’m now on Lexapro and life is a lot smoother these days.

October 27:  Get proofs back from amazingly talented Facebook friend/photographer-turned-best-friend and start perusing invitation sites, like, to get some inspiration for holiday cards. Look at the clock, four hours later, with blurry vision from looking at all of the adorable designs. Who the heck is this creative and artistic to come up with these things anyway?

November 7: Realize that Christmas is a sneeze away and begin to panic that holiday cards aren’t ordered. But look, squirrel or turkey or something more interesting . . .

November 17: Go back to to review all the saved card drafts and vascilate between three, finally fall in LOVE with the unique one that says something like, “Happy Everything,” and order 150 of those bad boys, knowing that my card will be unique and different from everyone elses.

Timeout from the timeline for a minute to show off some of the unique designs from’s assortment of holiday photo cards. Our photo session with Chris “the Bomb Photographer and PhotoShop Expert” Nelson isn’t for a few weeks, so I just began used photos from our summer fun to create some samples. Look at how cute these things are:

creating unique holiday photo cards with Design your own Christmas card online at Minted.comunique holiday photos cards

I love their simple, clean designs and all of their personalization options! For almost every design, you can move the text around on the photo, and, for all the of the cards, you can change the paper quality and have a ton of options for layout. They even have the option for a minibook photo album card if you’re really vain, I mean, if you have a lot of fun memories you want to share. I’m considering doing an entire section of photos from my trip to Boston for the Justin Timberlake/ Jay Z concert. Would that be weird?

Okay back to my theoretical timeline . . .

November 27: Holiday cards arrive from and they look AMAZING. I promptly email my new bestie/family photographer and tell her how awesome she is. Then, feeling extremely ahead of the game, I place the box of awesome-ful cards on the shelf with a false sense of being organized and the best intentions to get to them soon, because, well, Thanksgiving is nigh and I’m anticipating a wicked case of turkey coma. But, I’ve got PLENTY of time!

December 7th: Crap, I’ve just recovered from my Tryptophan coma and Christmas is less than 20 days away, and my Jewish friends have already put their menorahs away.  I sit down with a vat of eggnog and a fine tip sharpie, put on my favorite Christmas movie, Elf, and get to work on those cards.

December 17th: My tongue has a multitude of very tiny but very painful paper cuts (I really should have used a sponge!), however I get my cards out, just in the knick of time, only to then go to my mailbox and receive five cards from people who weren’t on my list. Halp! I sure hope Minted has a rush service on an extra order of cards (which they do!).

So where are you at with holiday cards this year? Are you a committed card sender? If so, be sure to check out the myriad selections at and their holiday discounts. You can also take advantage of their offer to address your cards for FREE. Boom!

Disclosure: AS I mentioned above, this was a sponsored post on behalf of, but all the opinions are my own. 

For more rad posts on family photos and holiday cards, check out:

Tips for a Stress-Free Family Photo Session

How to Pose for Pictures



  1. 1
    Chelsea says:

    Love this! I remember you having your holiday cards done so early last year and then me grumpily stamping mine last minute vowing to be like Mary this year… still haven’t gotten started -lol. Looking forward to checking out Minted!

  2. 2
    Amanda Lynn says:

    Thanks for reminding me to book the photographer!

  3. 3
    Chris Nelson says:

    How did I miss this? I love this post! Hilarious and enjoyable as always! Thanks Mary!

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