Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Finding joy in the mailbox...

My favorite time of the year is the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love the hustle and bustle of it all. I love the lights and decorations. I love the magic, the gift wrapping and the baking. I love checking the mail daily and finding a stack of Christmas cards waiting to be opened.

I consider myself to be the crafty/artistic type and have been known to have somewhat of a rating system when it comes to cards and invitations that find their way into our mailbox. Unlike Christmas letters which can either gain you points or quickly put your score in the gutter dependant on content, even the worst cards and invitations get bonus points when a picture is included. For me, the perfect Christmas card has a nice sentiment, is pleasing to look at and includes a picture.

The first year that the hubs and I were married, creating and sending Christmas cards was one of those rights of passage that I had been looking forward to for years leading up to our wedding. We ended up creating photo cards on Shutterfly.com and absolutely loved the way they turned out. We received tons of complements on them, and it was a fun way to share some of our wedding pictures with guests from our wedding that likely would never see our albums.

After such a perfect experience with our first cards, we did the same for our second Christmas. I had found a coupon code for Shutterfly and ended up getting a fantastic deal on premium cards. I loved the cards when they came in the mail, and I excitedly sent them to all of our friends and family.

Last year was hard. Last year Christmas fell at the end of six failed cycles of fertility treatment and my heart was just not in Christmas. I was hurting, my heart was aching and honestly the joy of Christmas was not even something I could recognize. The thought of skipping Christmas had seriously crossed my mind. Something about staying home and just being alone with the heartache seemed so inviting and easy. Certainly easier than being with our families and putting on a very much fake smiling face and pretending that everything was fine, when in reality I kind of felt like my world was crashing down around me. Needless to say, Christmas cards were not created nor were they sent. In fact getting Christmas cards in the mail was also difficult. Several family members and friends had recently had babies, and the photos that had once gained a card extra points were too hard to look at.

This year, although we are back in the midst of fertility treatments, my heart is in a MUCH better place. Joy has returned and although the holidays are still a difficult time when you are battling infertility, my heart and my head are back to loving this season. This year we will be finding our way back to shutterfly to create and purchase our Christmas cards! They make it just too easy to want to do it any other way! I’ve been browsing around this morning and have found some top contenders for this season….

Retro Metro -

Seasonal Chic Noir-

Charming Dotted Ribbon-

Berry Nutmeg-

Seriously, head over there! The hardest part of the creation process is choosing which pictures to use, and which one of the cards you like the best! Honestly, it is so easy I think even my mother could make one of these. The same mother who called me yesterday afternoon to ask me “how do I search 'words of inspiration' online??" “Ummmm, Google… just like anything else?!” Yeah, even she could do it!

And one more thing for all of your bloggies out there, Shutterfly is doing a promotion just for us! Head to this website and sign up to blog about their products and they’ll give you 50 holiday cards in return. It’s a pretty fantastic trade off if you ask me… blog about a great products and get 50 of them!

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