Friday, December 3, 2010


I’m sure this might surprise you, (after I’ve spent the past few months waxing poetic about the glories of fall…), but this is the time of year when my heart feels most at home. I think it's because at this time of year my thoughts are consumed by memories of Christmases past.

When I was a little girl, my family would pack up our little white dodge caravan every December and trek up to Carlisle to spend the holidays with my grandparents. As often happens, my memories of those days are now just a joyful melding of feelings, scents and sounds: the sound of laughter as I decorated the tree with my cousins; the sounds of muffled clinking in the kitchen, when my Uncle would wake early every Christmas morning to bake fragrant coconut muffins in the shape of Christmas trees; the smell of Christmas morning: coffee, coconut, orange peel and pine; and warm feeling of comfort I felt as I stood with my family singing a candlelit 'Silent Night' on Christmas Eve.


Truthfully, the celebration began far before the yearly pilgrimage to PA. Early on I learned that there were two unmistakable beacons of holiday cheer which (for the most part) appeared in early December: the first snowfall and the arrival of the first Christmas card. And since I’ve all ready expressed my joy at the first snowfall of the season, today I focus on the latter :)

I love real mail. I always have, and I always will. While I am enamored and excited by the seemingly endless advances in technology, there are two things that I hope will never change—at least (I say completely selfishly and unapologetically) not in my life time. Those two things are libraries—filled to the brim with real paper books; and snail mail.

What fun it is to rush to the mailbox in the afternoon to see what treasures it might hold! I think sending Christmas cards is just one symbol of the way people reach out to each other in love during the holidays, and for that reason alone, sending and receiving cards at Christmas time is just one of the traditions I love.

And so it is with a wee bit of shame that I admit to you : I haven’t sent my cards yet. Actually: I haven't bought my cards yet. But I have been drooling over perusing my options:) Lately I’ve been loving the picture holiday cards – and this is where Shutterfly comes in. I want photo cards that I can put multiple pictures on-- and I want them to be true to my personality. And these babies deliver - my, oh my do they!

Check them out for yourself here and here. Bloggers: Shutterfly is running a holiday card promotion where you can submit a blog post and receive 50 free cards! Read more here!

(These are a couple of my favorites ... I'll let you know what I pick!)

I love the simplicity of the first-- and the second is "classic Amy" :)

And if you're all ready set for cards this year -- they also sell calendars. Hmm... would it be in terrible form to make & give a calendar as a Christmas present to myself?! I’d love to have one of these for my office at work …

And now, just for fun, here are some of the outtakes from our mini-photo shoot on Saturday. (Good heavens it's hard to get good pictures of cats!)

How about you: Do you send Christmas cards? Christmas letters? How do you display the cards you receive?