How My Family Does Christmas Cards

by Rachel on December 17, 2010

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that my mom and I get very into Christmas cards. Between my mom (the artist) and myself (the writer), we enjoy designing our Christmas cards nearly as much as we enjoy Halloween.

I love the tradition of mailing cards and I love seeing cheery colored envelopes in the mail.

I love choosing seasonal return address labels and buying holiday stamps.

I love paper, I love my handwriting, and I love the good old-fashioned USPS.

(Although I didn’t yesterday when I went in there around 11 AM for work. One person working the counter a week before Christmas? B-A-N-A-N-A-S.)

Last year I did a recipe card, and other times I do cute store-bought cards. But I have to do a card.

My favorite of all my past cards was the one I sent out the year Preston was born.

I’m also very excited about my card this year, but I don’t want to post it here until my friends have received theirs in the mail.

Despite the fact that we share a love for creating Christmas cards, my mom and I tend to argue about their execution.

See for some reason, come December 1, my mother often forgets that, in general, a family Christmas card includes both children — even the black one. She always has a million reasons why I haven’t made it into the Christmas card in the past few years.

“You’re never around.” (So I have a schedule — please give me a head’s up so I can plan for it.)

You refuse to pose for a photo with Preston.” (Well, yes, I refuse when you suggest we take a picture on a random day that you think my hair looks nice — well maybe it does, but are my eyebrows waxed?)

For the first few years of Preston’s life, my mom would never even make mention of not including me in the card. She’d just say, “So here is my idea for my Christmas card this year! I took this picture of Preston…”

And I’d be left thinking, “Annnnnd this is why everyone thinks I’m his nanny.”

So we argue about that, although I will admit, last year my mother has listenined to my complaints and actually put me in the Christmas card last year.

If you can call it a Christmas card when it goes out in JANUARY.

More than being left out of the card, nothing pisses me off more than the fact that my mom has not sent out Christmas cards prior to Christmas in the past six years (which is when she had another child and decided to start sending Christmas cards — I have no recollection of her sending any card with me in it after I was about 8 years old). My problem with the whole thing is the same problem I have with her 2 AM Halloween-costume-finishing-bender or her 4 AM present-wrapping-spree. The problem is that my mom does everything so well, but she always wants to make it so much better. She can’t leave well enough alone and quit when she’s given 110 percent. No…she has to go for 125 percent.

But that extra 15 percent is exactly what does her in! To me, if you do a great job, but you don’t do it on time, it loses major points. In fact, all points, when you’re doing something that is directly related to a certain date. The goal, for me, is to be awesome, but to also be realistic about what I can actually accomplish by December 25. If that means settling for just 115 percent, then fine.

But she doesn’t care. She’ll sit down to make her card on December 27, because now she finally has the time to give it extra bells and whistles. When I remind her that it’s too late, she always says, “It’s a holiday card! The holiday lasts after Christmas! People are celebrating New Year’s!”

“But it says ‘MERRY CHRISTMAS’ on it. Why would I want a card telling me to be merry about an event when all I am is fat from cookies and depressed that the fun is over?” I ask.

To me, this is like shouting, “Chug! Chug!” at someone the morning after her 21st birthday.

“People love my cards,” she always says. “They tell me they look forward to it every year.”

This year, I decided to solve both problems when I was home for Halloween. We were having breakfast on Saturday morning and somehow, the topic of holiday cards came up. “Oh,” I told everyone. “I know what our card is going to be this year and we are taking the picture this weekend so it can go out on time.”

When I described my plan for the card, everyone approved. The next morning, Preston, my grandma, and myself — still in my Halloween costume — headed out into the front yard to shoot the card. Then I took care of the details with Photoshop.

I love how the picture turned out, but the cards haven’t gone out yet because…we cannot decide on the perfect caption!

My mom asked Eric and me to come up with something funny and we’ve been bouncing ideas this week, but we just haven’t quite hit the perfect one yet.

We could always do a simple lyric: “Should we open up her gifts or send them back?”

We could make fun of old people: “Keep your grandma away from the egg nog this holiday season.”

But Eric and I were thinking of taking it in a different direction.

“Although Santa won’t be making a stop at our house this year due to the terms of the settlement, we’ll still be able to have a nice Christmas thanks to the money from the lawsuit.”

“The reindeer took a plea and acted as an informant for the FBI  — they’ve been trying to get Santa on breaking & entering charges for hundreds of years.”

While we like these, I decided to put it out there to you, my brilliant friends, real and imaginary. You all are so funny, I thought you might be able to come up with the perfect caption for the card, so I’m having a little contest. Leave your caption for the inside of the card in the comments section — if we do end up using your idea, you’ll be handsomely rewarded with a gift card of your choice (Starbucks, Panera, iTunes, Target…you know how we do). So if you’re feeling creative, get to it! These cards need to go out on Monday, so you have until tonight — Friday, Dec. 17 at 11:59 PM CST — to share your idea!

If you’re not feeling inspired, I’d still love to hear some of the funny and creative Christmas cards you’ve done or seen!

It’s Friday! I finally bought two Christmas gifts! Charles Brown is serenading me with Christmas music! Let’s be JOLLY!

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy December 17, 2010 at 9:22 am

Awesome card!!! I love it! I don’t have any great ideas for your caption, but I thought I’d cast a vote for the lyrics: “Should we open up her gifts or send them back?” Classic, simple, and really funny–I would get a HUGE kick out of getting that in my mailbox. That’s what I’d do! :)

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2 Ana December 17, 2010 at 9:39 am

“family Christmas card includes both children — even the black one”. I didn’t just literally LOL. I pretty much DIED of laughter. Holy fuck, you are one funny chick.

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3 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers December 17, 2010 at 10:39 am

AGREED. so funny.

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4 Heather December 17, 2010 at 9:59 am

I think I still have that first Christmas card you posted! I remember cracking up at that one, and this one looks like it will be even funnier!

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5 Teri [a foodie stays fit] December 17, 2010 at 10:11 am

ooh, I love this game! I’m going to think on it all day because nothing could be cooler than having some input into your cool cards. Seriously, i’m stoked.

Ideas:

“I won’t tell if you won’t tell.”

“Grandma didn’t get run over by a reindeer. But I know I’ll get the blame.”

I’ll keep thinking!

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6 Rachel December 17, 2010 at 11:12 am

LLOL at “I’ll get the blame”

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7 Dori December 17, 2010 at 10:16 am

“See for some reason, come December 1, my mother often forgets that, in general, a family Christmas card includes both children — even the black one. ” HAHAHA. I love your style. Also, chug chug! And you look so pretty in the holiday card from when Preston was a baby, and he looks so adorable and smushy! Fat cheeks!

I’m not so great at captioning on the spot, but how about simply:

“And you thought your family was dysfunctional.”

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8 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write December 17, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I love Dori’s. Hehe. I’m voting for this one.

Incidentally, I just went through a few of the SomeEcards Christmas ones and I kept thinking, “Man! I really wish I knew Rachel Wilkerson in real life, because there are very few people in my real world that are outrageous enough for me to actually send these cards to.” Case in point: http://www.someecards.com/usercards/viewcard/d6c44f8e63108fc04508db9ea1227771. This card is outrageously inappropriate for pretty much everyone I know, but I knew you’d love it. hehe.

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9 Rachel December 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I do love it! I LOVE someecards! Cracks my shit up.

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10 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write December 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I knew it! Do I know you, or do I know you?

Wait… I don’t know you.

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11 Lisa @ I'm an Okie December 17, 2010 at 10:19 am

Oh my, your posts always get a huge smile on my face.

This reminds me of an episode of Better with You that I watched this past week. Their family was VERY into Christmas Cards and they thought of new themes each year. And, of course, they fought over it!

You should try to watch to the episode–it’s on ABC’s website. I’m sure you’d get a kick out of it.

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12 Rachel December 17, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Oooh this sounds good! I will have to check it out!

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13 amy December 17, 2010 at 10:20 am

seriously your blog is hilarious. i would go with the ‘open up her gifts or send them back.’ either way you cant go wrong…awesome.

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14 the412view December 17, 2010 at 10:25 am

THIS is why I love your blog. Thank you!

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15 Martha December 17, 2010 at 10:41 am

Ah this is so much fun! I thought of 4 captions:

Rudolph: This is exactly what I was talking about when I complained to the Human Rights Tribunal.

The North Pole is a place full of joy and cheer? Tell that to Santa’s first wife.

Fortunately for Mrs. Claus, Rudolph was a temp at an alcohol facility before gaining full-time employment at the North Pole.

Alcohol! Angry Elves! Store-bought Toys! TMZ has full North Pole coverage this Christmas.

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16 Stephanie @ Single in the City December 17, 2010 at 10:53 am

I can only think, “Grandma got run over by a reindeer,” when I see that card.

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17 Sheena Olivia December 17, 2010 at 11:16 am

“Preston: Oh No! Grandma got run over by a reindeer again!”

Rachel/deer: Oh No! Looks like the Captain beat me to it!”

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18 Frances December 17, 2010 at 11:21 am

the reindeer pleads the fifth.

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19 Jennifer December 17, 2010 at 11:52 am

Hysterical! I can’t think of any captions but I did like:
“Should we open up her gifts or send them back?”

and

“The North Pole is a place full of joy and cheer? Tell that to Santa’s first wife.”

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20 Kitten December 17, 2010 at 12:00 pm

The Reindeer and the Elf looked down at their Grandma with bereavement, worrying that thier food supply was running low. Quickly, they consulted Jonathon Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”…

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21 Erin December 17, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I LOVE this one!

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22 Bess December 17, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Grandma got run over by a reindeer and all she left me was a half full fifth of bourbon.

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23 Rachel December 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm

LLOL

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24 Marg December 17, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I love it! I really want to do a fun photo card one year. It reminds me of “Grandma got ran over by a reindeer” but I like the Keep G-ma away from the eggnog.

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25 Cyndie December 17, 2010 at 12:23 pm

That picture is hilarious. I honestly think it’s good caption-less.

I’ve never done a Christmas card, but I’d like to start doing them when Alex and I get married.

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26 monica December 17, 2010 at 1:01 pm

hahaha this is hilariouss!

Grandma got run over by a reindeer… or was it a DUI?

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27 LC @ Let Them Eat Lentils December 17, 2010 at 1:11 pm

wow that’s my favorite Xmas card so far. I think you’ve got to go with the song lyric – anything else would be too contrived. I like this lyric too:

“They should never give a license, to a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves”

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28 Mary @ stylefyles December 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I like this (minus the comma). It’s simple but funny.

I like some of the longer, more complex ones as well, but I think a short sweet sentence is the way to go.

I also like the “should we open up her presents or send them back?” hysterical.

Great card

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29 Carrie December 17, 2010 at 1:24 pm

This year the best picture of our family was taken at a brewery during a beer tasting on our family vacation, so painted on the wall above our heads is the Ben Franklin quote “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” My parents made sure it didn’t get cropped out when inserting the picture into the card template- I’d guess we’re probably the only family with that quote (our ‘family motto’ as my mom is calling it) on their Christmas card.

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30 Rachel December 17, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I love that! I want to hang out with your family!!

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31 Beth December 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm

You don’t even need a caption underneath! The picture speaks for itself- too hysterical for words.

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32 MelissaNibbles December 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm

This is awesome! I like Kitten’s suggestion above.

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33 Paul McConaughy (@minutrition) December 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Isn’t it obvious???

“This might be my brother and me but Grandma got run over by a reindeer!”

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34 Angela December 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Too cute!! Will your mother be upset about not being in the photo or does she care?

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35 Rachel December 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Nope — she took the photo!

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36 Jordan December 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

“We could say she just got run over by a reindeer.”

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37 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter December 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Bahahaha. Too funny. I’m excited to do my own christmas cards in, eh, 10 years.

My caption submission:

“Oops, she did it again. Grandma drank too much egg nog. Maybe she’ll be awake for next years Christmas”

but truly, my vote goes to Jordan’s. Too funny.

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38 Bridget@PavementandPlants December 18, 2010 at 11:27 am

How about….
I wanted her presents. Sorry I’m not Sorry.

I just feel like it’s the year of Sorry I’m not Sorry. Somehow it has to be in there!

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39 Clare @ Fitting It All In December 18, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Hilarious.

One year my mom sent a picture of us three kids holding guns at a shooting range. Merrrrry Christmas.

And one year she wrote about how I started shaving my legs. I clearly did not get to proof read that letter.

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40 kate December 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm

it’s too late but i love the lawsuit one!

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