For me it all began when I was just a toddler and my parents propped me up on their living room settee with some foil wings, a little white gown and a homemade halo over my head. Even though the memory is only through the photo card pictured here (my mom was pretty "holiday forward" at the time as not many people were doing picture cards in the 60s) I think this is where my connection with annual holiday cards truly began. My grandfather was a big photographer back in the day (he always turned a household bathroom into a dark room according to my mom). She and her brothers posed for their first Christmas cards in the 40s and I believe that is where our own family photo card history and tradition truly took root. Thankfully my mom carried this on over the years with our family growing up as you can see from the pictures here...
The photo that started it all for me (top) and my first connection to my family holiday card tradition!
Before I launched Social Butterfly Designs in 2000 I worked in Public Relations for Princess Cruises and I would make my own hand-drawn card every year and have it printed by the printer we used at Princess and it was always something my friends looked forward to receiving...at least that was the word on the street, haha. It was an important tradition that I looked forward to creating every year, just like my mom made happen for our family each year from age one to adulthood...(thanks Mom!!). There were some years that this tradition was anything but fun (matching Lanz pajamas with my sisters, dressing up in elf costumes, cookies and milk for Santa and the dreaded "wear your favorite sports gear" years -- see above). It was definitely not always fun...but I am forever grateful for these cards as each and every one holds a special piece of history. I have since kept up the tradition with my only family creating a special memory each year through photos. I made an extra one each year for each of my kids with a stamp on the envelope for added historic reference. One day they will each receive these cards to have as their own slice of holiday tradition.
So, as you might imagine, when I started this business it was exclusively about creating custom holiday cards and invitations and I would do tens of cards for clients each season, each one unique and special in its own right. I would like to refer to one special client who has been doing her holiday card with me every year since 2005. That would be Katy Laetsch, a longtime resident of Palos Verdes Estates, who is married and has three handsome sons. She came to me in 2005 with pictures from all of her cards since her oldest and then 18 year old son was born. I made a collage of all 18 photos in consecutive order and put them in a more modern format...the result was spectacular and from that card I gained in Katy a client for life. We definitely collaborate on her card each year as she is very creative and always has great ideas. The Laetsch family Christmas cards are always a lot of fun to work on and always rewarding to create. Katy understands the connection that these cards have in touching the lives of family and friends near and far. Here are a few samples of some of these cards from over the years:
This year’s Laetsch family card is especially fun and memorable but no spoiler alert here...you will just have to wait for the follow up blog post on that....so stay tuned!
While I still don’t know what is in store for my own family’s card this year it will never be able to top last year’s somewhat over-the-top Cubs World Series card complete with a Tri-fold timeline. It was a given when the Cubs clinched the 2016 title (and if you know my family you get this!)
For above photo, scroll to right for full viewing...
Just this past Sunday there was an article in the Los Angeles Times all about the tradition and importance of holiday cards..."They are done specially. They take time. And they have the power to collapse the distance that separates far away friends and family," according to Liesl Schillinger. You can read more by clicking the link - - this article prompted my blog post for today.
I love to work with my clients on their holiday cards. It is so much fun to create something memorable and unique just for them. I take a lot of pride in creating these showcase treasures that connect them with friends and loved ones near and far.
In case you were wondering it is not too late for custom orders either, all you need is a photo to start the process. we also have some pre-designed options on our website. If you are interested you can comment here and/or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us create some magic for you.