Free Christmas Cards Anyone?

Today my kids will don their homemade costumes, upcycled treat bags and eat their body weight in Halloween candy.

Tomorrow I will box up those costumes, recycle their treat bags and confiscate their candy in the hopes of some slower, healthier consumption.

The day after that I officially kick into Thanksgiving and Christmas mode.

First thing on the agenda: ordering Christmas cards.

Why?

With all of texting, emailing, Skyping, Facebooking and calling, personal mail has almost disappeared.

And I miss that so much.

I miss the anticipation of bright envelopes and Christmas stickers in my mailbox … the happy sight of all those cards taped to my pantry door … the nostalgic part of me that won’t let me take down the pictures of the people I love most until well into January.

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And it’s going away.

Every year there are less cards in the mail box, less cards up on that pantry door and less excitement about seasons greetings when I know it’s probably going to be just a quick “Merry Christmas Friend #215” on my Facebook wall.

That first Christmas after the Layoff Fairy found us, I insisted on sending out Christmas cards. I only dared send out a handful … but I sent them. And I was so grateful for all the ones that landed on my doorstep—cards that said not only Merry Christmas, but we love you … we’re so sorry that you’re going through this … we’re thinking and praying for your family … in ways that no digital greeting could possible convey. And I kept everyone one of those cards to remind me just how blessed my family has been.

There’s another reason I love the whole ritual of sending out Christmas cards and it’s purely selfish I suppose. For all of the busy, all of the budgeting and all of the blur of the holiday rush, I appreciate more than ever the chance to stop … pause … relish the magic of the season … think of each of the wonderful people on my greeting card lists … take a minute to hand-write a little note on the bottom of their card … address their envelope with red and green markers … and affix just the right holiday stamp to say:

I love you.

I’m thinking of you.

You’re worth two minutes and .44 cents of my time.

That’s why I’m so excited to partner with Shutterfly again this year to help make this tradition more affordable for us all.

I’ve ordered from Shutterfly several times and am always impressed with the results. Some of you who have been with THRIVE since the beginning will remember last year when I wrote about our terrible luck getting traditional Christmas cards—a fact that I’ve come to embrace and even look forward to. Last year I hauled my Dirty Half Dozen down to the isles of Walmart to take our annual Walmart Walk of Shame holiday cards … then picked out and customized the heck out of my favorite Shutterfly design … and  squealed out loud when my box showed up a few short days later.

Dec 2010 BLOGI adore orange. This box made me soooo happy.

And the cards?

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Pure delicious awesomeness.

I LOVED my cards from Shutterfly and the chance to use their great discount code to order enough cards for everyone on my list while keeping my budget right where it needed to be.  These cards captured my family’s spirit and energy in a completely professional , completely unique, yet completely this-is-so-cool-that-I-can-create-the-perfect-Merry-Christmas-From-Produce-card sort of way.

And the designs this year?

Be still my beating heart. How ‘bout these?

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Or maybe the coolest snow globe ever … or a precious declaration of faith.

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This Alleluia card slays me. I’d pick this one hands-down if we had a newborn in our house. But since we’re done, I’m crushing on this gorgeous monogram / collage number.

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Or course then I’m in love with all things plaid right now, too.

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And these tea length cards? I’m dying here. Tree collages? Snowman smiles? Double-dog dares?

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Good luck picking just one design.

Shutterfly also has photo gifts like books, puzzles and our go-to favorite for grandparents: the calendar.

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This never gets old and is always appreciated. I love being able to personalize our calendar with pictures and special occasions to make it easy to remember all those dates.

So …

I’m marching down to Walmart this week with the Dirty Half Dozen to snap our annual Walk of Shame pictures to share with friends and family. I’m trying to decide between 1) Merry Christmas from Small Appliances, or 2) Merry Christmas From Paper Goods: wishing you all a spare square

(I apologize to the non-Seinfeld groupies out there who have no idea why I’m giggling right now).

And I’m looking forward to that bright orange box showing up on my door step … and curling up late one night with hot cider and White Christmas on DVD …

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… and addressing those funky cards while the lights glow from across the street and across the room …

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… and quietly remembering how magical and wonderful this time of year really is.

Want to join me? How does FREE sound?

I get to giveaway a set of 25 free Christmas cards to 3 lucky THRIVE readers!

AND … to make the deal even better:

All you bloggers out there can have a chance to get 25 free cards by registering here: http://goo.gl/DDw7Q

To win, just leave a comment about my Walk of Shame pictures and which random Walmart isle I should capture the magic.

That’s it.

I’ll draw the winners Wednesday, November 2nd at 10 pm Mountain time.

Happy sliding into the holidays, everyone! Be back tomorrow with the first of several Thanksgiving projects!

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** I received free Shutterfly Christmas cards in exchange for writing this post and couldn’t be happier. But free isn’t worth it if it’s crap, so my recommendation is based on my past, very awesome experiences with Shutterfly and my excitement to hook my amazing readers up with the same bit of holiday loot.

55 thoughts on “Free Christmas Cards Anyone?”

  1. Goodness, the Walmart pix are awesome! If you wanted to play on the dangerous side, I'd say use one of the beauty products aisles – lots of bottles to knock over and make a scene with. 🙂 on the other hand, I do like your first pic with the Christmas display behind it – you'd never know it was Walmart!

  2. Such a cute idea! And I love Shutterfly cards, too. All those examples, it will be hard to choose one.
    My vote is for paper goods…pile those kids up on some big packages of paper towels or toilet paper. They'll be cute whatever you choose!

  3. Oh what a great idea! And thanks for doing this now to get all of us procrastinators started before it is too late!

    How about the shoe section? I'm sure your dirty dozen could have a ton of fun in the various sections!

    Thanks
    Krista

  4. I've never ordered cards from Shutterfly, but I did do a wedding book for my daughter and her husband. They loved it. How about the Christmas aisle? They have a lot of silly Christmas hats, like trees with lights.

  5. I love random. I don't know if your walmart store has a hunting section – our Utah Walmart didn't(at least I never stumbled upon it if it did), but our Texas one sure does and I think it's so random. If not, then I'd go with the toy isle right in front of the huge cage of bouncy balls!

  6. The picture with the boxes of Christmas tress! Awesome! Toy isle! And have the kids hold their favorite toys. Or is that too obvious?

  7. I've only been in blogland for 6 months or so, so I hadn't seen your Christmas cards before — so funny! I love the quirkiness! How about the shoe dept? Something about walking a ways to wish you a Merry Christmas? Anyway, I can't wait to see your Thanksgiving ideas!

  8. I laughed about the spare square reference! However, when you wrote about the small appliance section, the line from Jiingle Bell Rock popped into my head about "mix and mingle.." and envisioned youall standing next to the mixers… Of course, in my part of the country, nothing says Christmas like camouflage, so maybe you can find something good in the huntin' and fishin' aisle! Can't wait to see what you do!

  9. I just became a Shutterfly believer and would LOVE LOVE LOVE to get some free cards! I think you guys should do your picture in the kids socks and underwear aisle, because I am a 10 year old boy and think toilet humour is hilarious. HA HA HA!!!

  10. Well considering I'm a mother of three boys and twins, my vote is for the checkout stand while purchasing a pile of items and all your children are screaming or running everywhere…that happens all the time with me lol!Get the background people to make it fun and I'm sure everyone will stare at you! Your creativity is awesome! I LOVE SHUTTERFLY too!!! Great quality!

    princessrides@gmail.com

  11. I love your Walmart ideas-it really does capture how fun our family is, and is certainly a unique card to receive that would stand out among the rest! For this year, I think you should go with the frozen food aisle, creating some kind of 'Winter Wonderland' message.

    lauramann1979@hotmail.com

  12. Your produce cards are seriously the BEST! I vote for paper goods. Spare Square?! Hilarious! I would probably somehow incorporate Seinfeld though, because while I've seen that episode I couldn't place the phrase until you told where it was from. Watch out HallMark, you've got competition!

  13. I think it should be the spray paint aisle.
    That is where I spend all my time now a days.

    Hubby says if it stands still, I will spray paint it.

  14. Haha love your creativity! This is one of the most unique card ideas I have seen! I love your saying for the paper goods, so that gets my vote! Thanks for the opportunity to win the cards…my blogger account is letting me post using it so I'm having to go anonymous.

    CJacksonK@gmail.com

  15. Can I admit to laughing SO hard at last year's card that I literally cried? I love it, I absolutely LOVE it! We've become somewhat famous for our random cards as well, and I use Shutterfly often. I know my google account won't work either (it never does-sigh) so my email is landini at att dot net.
    THANK YOU!!

  16. I loved the produce aisle pic! My kids would totally do that at random, check out would be a good one…I think with all the messes you've had this last year with TDHD, maybe the cleaning/paper goods would be best..and I lmbo at the Seinfeld reference! If it were me, I'd go for the preg test section, just to freak people out. Ya' know since I'm 40+ and already have a half dozen of my own! LOL Just sayin.

  17. love. Love. LOVE Shutterfly!
    Okay, for isles, I'm thinking of a play off of your "dirty half-dozen". So maybe either the cleaning isle, or even the opposite and stick them all in the dumpster.
    Miss you!
    Tasha – you know the email

  18. Your Wal-Mart pics are hilarious!!Further proof that with cute kids the background is merely icing on the cake.

    I think you guys should do pics in the ice cream or frozen food section. A kid per freezer door 🙂

    ps. I love love love your mad crafting skills

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