One time I declared to everyone that I would only do Christmas cards every second year, but that didn't last very long, because I love to do it. And there are so many amazing websites now where you can create them and print them.
This year we were going to take our family Christmas card photo at our beach over Labour weekend, but the weather wasn't great and we got out there and NOBODY wanted to get formal and have their hair brushed and be bossed around by me for half an hour, so I flagged it.
But I got all inspired again this last weekend, while browsing through my pinterest Christmas board and thought that if I'm going to do it, today has to be the day, otherwise it would be too late.
So we told all the kids that it was Family Photo Day (you should have heard the cheers. NOT), and pulled our teenager out of bed. We had an hour to do it, before some friends arrived.
But we are in this tiny little house with practically no garden. Last year, we used my brother-in-law's amazing garden, but we couldn't do that again - there has to be variety, right!
My husband wanted to do it out in the overgrown, shabby, terraced garden we have out the back of the kitchen, but I was reluctant because it would make it difficult to use the self-timer on the camera. I thought the red couch we have in the family room would be perfect. So we compromised like any good married couple, and took the sofa outside.
Rob, who is from a family of 7 has nightmare memories of their family photos, and I'm sure my kids will too - these things are never simple but always worth it when finished. And I use bribery unashamedly.
But it was hot, and I was being bossy. Very bossy.
It is worth it and the kids were happy with the results. I have to get their pre-approval these days, although my son asked that if I was going to put it onto Facebook to 'please not tag him'.
This is not the photo I am using …. but I wish I had! Isn't it great! I had lots of fun on picmonkey this morning.
So once the photos are taken, the fun part begins of choosing the card online. There are so many now available, but my favourites are snapfish and shutter fly.
This year I went with Shutterfly because they really have so much to choose from, and they often have good discounts (this year I got a 40% discount), and their postage is usually reasonable and fast.
But there is so much to choose from! It's really hard!
Here are my top 8 (sorry, the quality is poor). Which one do you think I picked? If you get it right, I'll send you one in the mail (although most of you who read my blog will be getting one anyway, but hey - it's a little fun, right)!
I love taking the individual photos of the children. I think that's their favourite part too. This year I hit the jackpot with my two youngest kids. I think they both have a healthy self-esteem, and a sense of the dramatic.
And of course I start to realise with my older two how very quickly they are growing up!
But, in the end we had fun with the photo - and I'm sure when the kids are older they'll look back on them and be glad we did it. Do you do a family Christmas card?