A little thanks goes a long way!


If your family is anything like ours, we get a LOT of gifts every holiday. ¬†Those two lucky boys of ours receive more gifts than they know what to do with. ¬†And so after Christmas, I sit down to begin the task of writing a ton of thank you notes to family, friends, neighbors … the list goes on. ¬†You know the drill.

Of course, I am a bit picky with my thank you cards. ¬†(It goes with the territory). ¬† And in the holiday spirit of complete honesty, every one in our household has their own personal stationery. ¬†Well, almost everyone… everyone except my husband. He could care less. ¬†And let’s be honest, I’m writing most of his thank you notes anyway.

This year, though, we tried something a little different. ¬†We went for the personalized family photo stationery. ¬†And I gotta say, I LOVE it! ¬†I might be just a tad bias, but here’s why… 1) it can be used for anyone in the fam. ¬†So the kids don’t have to each write a thank you note separately. ¬†Or at least I don’t feel like they should. 2) It matches our Christmas card this year. ¬†(Yay! ¬†I can’t help it, but matching makes me happy), and I had them printed along with our Christmas cards. ¬†(Another win for being prepared way ahead of time)! ¬†3) I used the exact same photo from our Christmas card. ¬†It pulled double duty. That’s a win-win. ¬†4) And .. finally… come on! Look at those cute little faces! ¬†They make me smile everytime I pull a card out to write a note. ¬†That, my friend, is the ultimate win/win!



How to Create the Perfect Holiday Card

Starting right around Thanksgiving, the design requests for¬†custom Christmas & Holiday cards¬†start to pour in.¬† Now, I don’t typically have the time to indulge¬†on custom designs during the year, but the holidays become my one exception. ¬†I love designing Christmas¬†cards… seeing all those bright smiling faces, and watching the children of some of my favorite clients change from year to year. ¬†And let’s face it… those happy, merry little faces just make my day! ¬†It completely gets me in the Christmas spirit.

So as you can imagine, I get all kinds of requests!¬†And after years of designing custom holiday cards, I’ve come to learn a little bit about what goes into creating the perfect¬†one. So here¬†are a few of my¬†trade secrets.


Tip 1: Let the photo do the talking!

Don’t try to accomplish too much in one card. Don’t squeeze in an entire year of vacation & holiday & seasonal¬†photos. ¬†Don’t include ten barely visible thumbnail photos. ¬†Pick one photo from the year that you LOVE. ¬†Maybe it’s a fabulous professional¬†photo you had taken or maybe it’s one you took yourself. ¬†But pick the one you LOVE and use it. ¬†Build everything around it. ¬†Keep it simple. ¬†And let us all see those big smiling family faces when we receive the card in the mail.

Wait… what??… one photo… with EVERYONE in it? SMILING? ¬†Yeah, I hear you… it’s impossible to get three kids to sit down and smile in one picture. ¬†Totally understand. ¬†It is (most days). ¬†Don’t fight it. ¬†Just take a different route. Consider one that includes all of them playing or laughing (and not necessarily posed and smiling perfectly).

Or consider breaking up the kids into individual photos but all in a similar design, so it feels like one big photo.  Converting the photos to all the same type of finish/color helps create a cohesive feel.


Tip 2: Add a bright, bold, {FUN} backside with additional photos

Because it’s hard to pick just one. ¬†Add a few more photos on the back. ¬†A boring, plain white backside to any card is a major pet peeve of mine. ¬†After all, you took the time to send all these cards out to family & friends.. use all the space you have! ¬†And brighten it all up with a bold matching pattern.


Tip 3: Pick a Fabulous Printer

For goodness sake, don’t print out cards with your family’s photos that you LOVE at a lousy printer. ¬†A great card printed at a crummy printer is… well…. a crummy card. ¬†A great image is only as good as the printing, so pick well! ¬†It’ll be worth it.

And if you’d like to have a custom holiday card designed around your photo, find it all at¬†Oodles and Doodles.¬† With lots more holiday card designs¬†to peruse as well.

Everything is available either as a printable file for you to print yourself or printed at a fabulous professional printer in the highest of quality. ¬†And shipped next day to you … because, you know, who has time to spend worrying about cards? There’s so much more to do for the holidays!

Happy Holidays!