Author Topic: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.  (Read 4372 times)

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Danika

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Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« on: November 07, 2012, 03:03:16 AM »
Every December, as is fairly typical, my friends and I mail each other holiday cards. Before I was married, I just sent the usual folded paper cards with good wishes. As my friends and I have gotten married and perhaps have had kids, we have started to send each other cards that don't fold, and instead include a family photo.

I'm preparing this year's card and am noticing that a lot of the places that you can order these cards from have greetings which are mainly the photo with a little bit of text.

For example, in the past, photo cards we have exchanged have looked like the following. Lots of design and a small photo.



But a lot of sites are touting cards like this now. Just a photo with a few words of text over it.



And I like the look of the new types of cards. But before I order some, I want to ask if when you receive cards like this you think they're on the self-absorbed side. I don't tend to write personal messages on the backs because I send many cards and don't have much to say beyond "happy holidays." On one hand, I like the look, on the other hand it seems like it's not card-like enough. I'm wondering what others think.

sparksals

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 03:05:34 AM »
I don't mind these cards, but I do think it is self absorbed to send without some sort of personal greetinghand written on the card.  Just sounds like no effort whatsoever.

Luci

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 05:18:04 AM »
I have always loved getting them and keep them in my albums along with my other photos. They are usually treasures.

We do not keep the photos of couples who are not together anymore. One neice sent a few years of her current boyfriend. That got a bit tedious. I don't know any divorced couples - really! I woulld probably keep their pictures, especially if they have children.

Margo

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2012, 05:58:46 AM »
I don't mind this kind of card, but I think any card which has the sender's picture on it it is inevitably going to come across as a bit self-absorbed - it can come across as 'look how wonderful my child/family is'

I would find it a bit odd to get a card like either of those from anyone who wasn't a close friend or family member, so for me, the issue would really be "are these people who are likely to want  to receive photos of my family?" if yes (e.g. family & close friends) then I don;t the the specific style matters. If not, then I'd be inclined to send a non-photo card.

That said, I don't see much difference between sending a card with a large or a small photo, if that is the style of card you're going for, so pick whichever you like best.

(I think it's different if you use a card of that kind of style as a 'thank you' card - I've had several thank you cards from weddings where there has been a photo of the happy couple on the day, with a hand wrtitten note on the back/inside, and the thank yous which my cousin sent out for gofts people sent to their son for his first christmas were similar - picture of Baby on Christmas Day, with thank you note inside the card. )

camlan

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 06:16:48 AM »
I don't mind them. But to me, they don't look much like a Christmas card.

So what I'd want to see is the entire family dressed in Christmas sweaters, garlands of tinsel around their necks, sporting Santa hats or something like these: http://www.partycity.com/product/velvet+reindeer+antlers+headband.do?sortby=ourPicks&pp=60&size=all&navSet=110582. Then there'd be no doubt it was a Christmas card.

My brother does this with his family's Christmas card. My dear SIL must love him very much. There's usually red Rudolph noses involved.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Wolfgirl

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2012, 06:18:15 AM »
In my honest opinion (and only cos you asked!), yes. My gut reaction to receiving the second card would be that the family was indeed a little vain, or more likely smug. It does to me come across as 'look how awesome my family is, aren't they photogenic and gorgeous". And if the card is also filled with the kind of ‘news’ about family achievements that can sometimes come close to bragging (ie, listing how well the kids did at maths/sport/dance and how mom and dad got promotions), then that compounds this impression. Though I’m sure this is not the case with your greetings card, Danika!

But I'm aware they are really common in the US, so this is just my personal opinion. I'd much rather have a regular card with a separate photo of the family inside. I 'm not quite sure what the difference is...maybe it's the idea that they are replacing the traditional card imagery with themselves, it’s like they’re saying WE ARE BETTER THAN SANTA!  >:D Ok not quite, but it implies that you’d rather look at a giant pic of the Joneses than see a festive image.… That’s why the 1st one is much better as it still has Christmassy imagery as well as the photo.

Another point is, these cards are becoming more common in the UK but still are not the norm by a long shot. I remember when we were young kids and our uncle moved to the States and married. We very quickly started receiving cards like the first one. We had never heard of this concept before, and we found it odd and really funny that someone would put their own photo on a Christmas card instead of a glittery reindeer! There may have been some gently private mockery… We’re well used to it now if course. But maybe bear it in mind if you have overseas relatives!  ;)

I also agree with Margo about sending it to closer acquaintences, not everyone and thier dog.

Just Lori

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 07:33:31 AM »
I like the picture cards myself, although I prefer a holiday card that looks at least somewhat holiday-ish.  If the second card showed the family playing in the snow or hanging out by their tree, it would work for me.  Right now it looks like a JCPenney ad.

I do have one request for picture cards:  Please keep your clothes on.  I know that you took a lovely tropical vacation last year, but I don't want pictures of barechested family members on my mantle, unless you look like Matt Bomer:



MommyPenguin

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 08:34:39 AM »
Personally, I love the photo cards, either one.  Those are my favorite cards, because we live far away from family and friends and don't get sent pictures, so it's a way to keep in touch and see what the family looks like this year.  We're also sending them out ourselves this year for the first time.

Kendo_Bunny

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 08:37:57 AM »
I usually get those from my friends and family with kids, and it's a nice update on 'Look how big they're getting!'. I also worked in a photo lab that made these cards, and you could add a few lines of text. Many people chose the option of adding something along the lines of 'Have a great holiday season, with love from Bob and Susan, Bill and Katie'. There was space on the back to write a personalized message, or I've seen people include a little note with the photo cards.

So, if you've got a family that's changing, and you take a holiday-style picture, I think most people would be fine. I like seeing how my nieces and nephews look every year (even though I see them on Facebook, the posed picture where they're not covered in cake or kissing a camel on the lips is nice too), and if I were an older relative, I'd probably enjoy seeing the adult all grown up as well.

Lady Snowdon

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 08:41:10 AM »
I've noticed a lot of choices favoring the second type of cards this year as well.  I think part of the reason for it is vanity, for sure.  I also think a lot of people like getting photos of their friends and family members.  I asked my mom and a couple of friends if they'd rather get regular cards with small wallet sized photos inside; they all said no, they liked having the picture be a part of the card itself.  Our holiday cards this year will be of the second type - although they'll have more wording on them.  I think ours say, "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours.  Love, Me, DH, and Smokey" on the back, and the front says something generic like "happy holidays". 

lowspark

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2012, 08:59:10 AM »
I think they are fine. It's nice to receive pictures of friends who are close enough to send me a card. I don't keep any of them past the holidays, though. I used to but ended up with a bunch of picture cards I didn't know what to do with so now I toss them.

What I really abhor are those long letters enumerating every accomplishment (Billy's team took third place in the 13-14 yr olds' soccer tournament) and medical problem (Mary had her ingrown toenails clipped) and whatever other uninteresting things the writer could think of to fill the page.

I do agree that it's nicer if the family is dressed in holiday garb but at least they should be dressed nicely or matching or something. If it's just a random snapshot with everyone in their regular ol' every day lounge-around clothes, it's not as fun.

staceym

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2012, 09:13:48 AM »
not sure if I see it as vain as much as people "killing two birds with one stone"  - meaning that people take Christmas as an opportunity to sending loved ones updated photos on kids, families, etc.; so now this way, the photo is the card - much simplier.  But, I would also prefer a personal greeting along with it.

But, I will say I'm one who likes to see it more Christmas-y; I've gotten ones with kids with pumpkins (i.e. very fall); or a picture taken during summer vacations

yokozbornak

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2012, 09:18:55 AM »
I agree with MommyPenguin.  I love getting photo cards because it's a nice to see people and reconnect with those I haven't seen in person for a while.  I have a colelction of cards that I have kept from certain friends, and it's sweet to see the kids grow from babies to big boys and girls.  In a way, I feel they are more personal that just a regular card with a signature although I love getting those,too.  I am just pleased that someone thought enough of me to send me a card.

jmarvellous

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2012, 09:21:23 AM »
I like either style. I don't and probably never will send holiday cards, so it isn't about my preference for sending; it's just that they are fun to receive.

I personally prefer ones where people aren't wearing overly "festive" clothes, but maybe that's from one too many years of "it's your turn to wear green this year" in the sibling photo lineup. Nice clothes are good, but I equally like the ones that offer a collage of snapshots from throughout the year.

I don't think they're vain, but at the same time, I'd feel overly showy sending a card with BF, the cat and me.

A short personal message (really, anything handwritten!) adds a lot.

bopper

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Re: Is this vain? Mostly just a photo, not so much a card.
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 09:24:56 AM »
I prefer the new style...easier to see the bigger pictures!