Tag Archives: MimboloveChristmas Card
*A small homage to what is possibly one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.
It’s January 5! I know what you’re thinking – haven’t bloggers been posting holiday content since Halloween? I meant to get this post up just before Christmas, but the problem with that was I barely had my cards in the mail by December 25. Just not on my holiday correspondence game this year, you guys. Between moving off-island and seeing my husband pretty much only on weekends (and spending said weekends house hunting), not only did I not have a chance to schedule a festive family photo shoot for all of us, but I was just completely out of ideas this year for a theme. Unfortunately, we can’t always have the perfect concept that just comes to us out of nowhere one day and seamlessly fits into the pop culture ether a la 2015.
If you haven’t heard, Christmas cards are kind of a thing for me. For us. A staple of my childhood (and also, my adulthood). Years ago, I wrote a series of posts going through my family’s long history of holiday photo shoots, including a card deemed “inappropriate” by my grandmother and a special edition megacard for the 20th anniversary of our annual Christmas cards. Since Steve and I have been together, we have strived for the same level of festive excellence. I think we’ve done a pretty good job so far, none of which has been recorded on the internet because I have yet to digitally archive our own collection of holiday greetings. I’ll get around to it at some point (maybe for our own ten-year anniversary of sending Christmas cards – is that a thing?).
I was feeling a little down in the holiday dumps this year, especially once I ended up with a terrible cold mid-December. I was supposed to go to Nantucket and help Steve pack our apartment, and I figured while I was there I would enjoy a little bit of the classic Christmas spirit that the island does so well. Unfortunately I was so sick, I ended up staying at my in-laws in my pajamas and feeling sorry for myself. The most festive thing I did was watching the worst of the worst of Hallmark movies. Finally, after more than two days of the cold from hell, I came to my senses (maybe it was all the made-for-TV-movie inspiration) and decided I had to figure out our holiday card immediately (keep in mind it was December 17). But since I had no photo or witty tagline, I was kind of stuck.
One idea I had in my mind as a backup was to incorporate a painting that I had done of Schooner earlier this year by the uber-talented Meredith Hanson. Honestly, she is just about the sweetest human I have ever met, and like I said, so gifted in the art department. I had been following her on Instagram for awhile before I asked her to create a special picture done of Schoon for Steve’s birthday. We’ve been together for over twelve years now, and after a while, there are just only so many gifts you can get each other. This seemed like something way more personal that wasn’t just a “thing,” it’s something we can display in our home someday (and luckily, Steve temporarily loaned it to me to take with me to the mainland for when I was missing the little furry guy).
I decided for the sake of space to leave the boots out of this particular card, as that was more of an ode to Steve and his love of all things L.L. Bean. Luckily she had scanned it before framing, so when I reached out to her for a copy it was as easy at plunking the image in Photoshop, writing out a little message, and done.
Well not done done, of course, because it wouldn’t be the holiday season without a little drama. I could not figure out for the life of me where to get these suckers printed. I’ve used Snapfish in the past, and Vistaprint as well, but it was so late in the season that even with expedited shipping, I wasn’t going to get them until December 21 at the earliest. I know some of those companies will do a pickup in the store situation, but all the ones I researched would only print it on photo paper and I wanted something with a heavier weight to it (I know, beggars can’t be choosers, I get it).
After posting about my conundrum on my Insta story, low and behold, the internet came through. I don’t care what Steve says, they are my real friends! Multiple people responded to my story and said I should look into Staples which I was kind of like ehhh I don’t know… and then one special follower alerted me that there was a Groupon deal online for printing holiday cards there and I ended up getting 100 cards for $25. I don’t think even with all the deals I’ve done with Snapfish over the years have I ever gotten my cards for that cheap. I’ve always spent at least $75 and that’s not including stamps (and yes, I’m aware that it is crazy that I still send out one hundred cards, and you know what? I don’t care).
So I dragged myself off the couch and away from the television, shoved a few cough drops in my purse, and headed over to Staples with a flash drive and a dream (and tried not to touch anything). And that dream came true just four hours later – no shipping charges or time wasted. The paper wasn’t as heavy as I normally like to get, but it was definitely a step up from photo paper (and again, BEGGING). I sat down and banged out the first twenty-five or so that night, and each evening when I got home from work just addressed a few more, and then another couple, and eventually I was done!
And yes, I picked up a couple of metallic Sharpies for good measure. Also I couldn’t resist the new Hanson Christmas CD – their first one is SO GOOD (this one is okay).
As for the text? I literally Googled “holiday pet cards” and wrote down every tagline I liked, eventually picking the one that made Steve wince with embarrassment the least. “Paws & Enjoy the Season” was cute, but not predictably so, and just a general reminder that even though things aren’t perfect, and sometimes, you’re living in your husband’s high school bedroom amongst racks of your clothes while an ocean divides you from your two best guys and your future is completely uncertain, but there’s still good things out there in world and maybe you’re just too focused on what’s not going right to see them.
Or maybe it’s just an excuse to put a picture of a cute pup on something, I don’t know. Whatever it is, I’m happy with how they came out considering how rushed they were, and trust me – I am channeling all of this very important energy into next year’s edition.
A little disclaimer to everyone that received this card – I didn’t write anything on the back. Like not one personal message, not even to my parents. I was just so behind with getting them out, that I knew if I took the time to put something on each one, I would never get them done.
This holiday season just kind of reaffirmed for me that I was so ready for 2017 to be over. It definitely felt like a more stressful December than I’ve experienced in a while, and I am just really looking forward to the fresh start that a new year brings. Hopefully in December 2018, I’ll be writing this post from a home with a gargantuan tree and the most festive (but tasteful) holiday decor you ever did see.
I can’t pretend that there is any sort of blanket statement that would explain this next round of photos. The first three posts were all like, “look at these cute children in pajamas/Christmas dresses. Aren’t they darling?” These next three in comparison don’t even seem like they’re from the same family. Of course there are some Scalera family Christmas card trademarks – pajamas, winter clothes, the fake Christmas fireplace backdrop. Some of the concepts are vague in purpose and one is just downright “inappropriate” (Grandma’s words, not mine). See for yourselves.
Card #10 – 1994
I guess if I had to classify a theme for this one it’s “Stuff We Like That Totally Dates This Photo.” For Becky, The Lion King was her ultimate obsession. How she went from being afraid of the preview to watching it everyday on VHS when she came home from preschool, I have no idea. Her world was consumed- everything from her bedroom to her clothes, covered in singing African animals. She was physically in love with the character of Timon, despite the fact that she was freaked out by his stuffed animal version’s “elbow hair” and made my mom trim it. For me, it was all about Kirsten Larson. But you probably knew that. Unfortunately my love for her did not translate to properly caring for her hair, and by this point her traditional Swedish loop braids were history, never to be the same. I love how this picture says, “oh hello there. You just happened to stumble upon us waking up on Christmas morning as we come down the stairs and get a first glance at our glorious gifts.” But since people were opening this card in early December, I imagine they were confused. Was this a card from the future? No one will ever know…
Card #11 – 1995
I’m going to be honest, I don’t even remember why we did this. It’s a miracle that there’s snow in this picture, but again, it’s New England so this could have been Halloween. I vaguely remember that someone my parents knew had painted these and used them as lawn ornaments at Christmastime. I have no idea who these people were or where they lived. I just remember being ushered into the car all bundled up and being told that “today was the day” we were going to take our photo. So go stand in a stranger’s lawn and let’s get this wrapped up before someone comes. Okay, I’m sure we actually had permission. I still think something is weird about this though. Can we also notice that my sister has now inherited my jacket and the plaid purple pantsuit pants?! Some things just refuse to die.
Card #12 – 1996
My apologies for what you have just seen. In case you’re not sure and you don’t believe it, yes, that’s a photo of a sixth and second grader in their bikinis. I may have mentioned before that my dad has a slight obsession with Jimmy Buffet. The concept for this one was the whole “Island Christmas” vibe, which was ironic, because again, we lived in NEW HAMPSHIRE. And it’s not like we took this on the beach in the summer. Oh no, this was the first time I remember the Christmas card becoming a full scale photo shoot. 1996 was the year we had to start setting it up in the garage and running a space heater because it was so freaking cold. Especially when you’re in your BATHING SUITS. I’m going to spare you the other photos, but let’s just say Doreen was quite the propmaster that day. There were lawn chairs, fake presents, and margaritas (virgin, of course). I believe the tagline read “Wishing You a Cool Yule.” I think that all those things could be fine, but what really takes this photo from silly Christmas card to exhibit A at future therapy are the poses. I think my sister would holla for a dolla way before Honey Boo Boo was even a twinkle in Sugar Bear’s eye. My grandmother was so offended by this card she sent it back. Unfortunately for you, that’s not an option. Thanks, Internet.
I swear, the next installment will be less emotionally scarring. For you, at least. I can’t say the same for myself.
And we’re back. And it’s the 90’s! Can you think of anything more fun and tacky than Christmas in the 90’s? If you’re wondering why I am exposing an embarrassing yearly tradition featuring my family, you can catch up here and here. But let’s get to the good stuff.
Card #7 – 1991
Moving on up! That’s right folks- no more photo shoots on rocking chairs in the living room in front a curtain. This was the year we finally moved out of our tiny two-bedroom condo and into our own house. Though you probably couldn’t see it due to my mother’s hair obstructing the view. Another thing you may not be able to see are our festive Christmas sweatshirts with cross-stitched moose wearing wreaths. If that doesn’t scream New Hampshire, I don’t know what does. This was also the first (and last) card photo featuring my beloved cat Tiger (RIP!) who like my sister, was not to keen on being forced to be in the picture. She lucked out, because unlike the cat, we did not put her on a leash when attempting this. Despite the new house, sweatshirts, Santa hat, children and cat, we needed just one more prop, and that’s where the inflatable candy cane came in. Why we even had an inflatable candy cane is beyond me, but it obviously completed the photo.
Card #8 – 1992
I told you- you can’t escape the Christmas background! That’s not the only hand me down in this picture, as my sister is wearing the same dress I sported in Card #4. Always a bridesmaid, those younger siblings. Not only did I get a new dress, I am also rocking a sweet oversized satin bow and I obviously got my hands on makeup for the first time. I don’t know why someone wouldn’t have stopped a second grader from smearing blue eyeshadow halfway up her face, but hey, it takes some of us years to grow into our fabulousness. And let’s face it, the saggy nylons are certainly not speeding up the process.
Card #9 – 1993
Oh, man. Where do I even start? Now you have to love my mother for dreaming up a card concept in September, but it would have been nice to have at least one of these pictures with snow in it. Instead we were forced to sweat in our winter attire and pretend that Christmas was just around the corner. And I’m all for warmth, especially growing up in New England, but I don’t see why puffer jackets ever had to look like this. C’mon, my sister looks like a miniature body builder and I look like that chubby purple girl in that children’s movie I still haven’t seen. Also, can we talk about my pants? Steve and I certainly did.
Me: These are the ugliest pants in the history of the world. I don’t think a worse pair of pants have ever existed.
Steve: Um, I believe you tried to buy those exact pants at J.Crew last week, and I told you they were hideous. So who are you trying to fool?
Up next- the unintentionally offensive Christmas card.
I’m sure that after the first Christmas card post yesterday you have been left with so many lingering questions. Like… would little Lindsay ever grow up and wear anything other than pajamas? Did her parents ever buy her new socks? I can’t promise answers to those questions in the this round. But I can promise… even more awkward photos. So let’s continue.
Card #4 – 1988
Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially a grown up. I started wearing tights and appropriate footwear. This look to me says, “pajamas are so beneath a three and a half year old. Velour is where it’s at.” I had clearly had enough of standing on that death trap, and since I had been an only child for so long, I took to just sitting on my rocking chair like the royalty I was, primed to receive the commoners when they came a calling. Also this is when I think my mullet really started to take place. Probably because I highlighted it with headbands. Okay, so maybe it’s not really a mullet, but it’s definitely mullet adjacent. Poor girl. She has no idea this is her last year as the star of the Christmas card. Life would never be the same.
Card #5 – 1989
As you will see later, this is the first appearance of many by the Christmas background. Oh I’m sorry- did I ruin the magic? Were you thinking that we were just hanging out in front of an actual fireplace and perfectly placed holiday garland? Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is all a lie. Except for my bangs. Those are horrifyingly real. Also have you ever seen a more uncomfortable infant? I had to hold onto her like that to keep her sleeves from catching a light breeze and carrying her away.
Card #6 – 1990
What did I tell you about that background?! Also please note the matching pinafore dresses made by our grandmother- I believe those collars featured some very festive holiday geese traipsing around. I don’t understand how amongst all that Christmas cheer my sister could dare to sport a look that says, “I’ve been kidnapped. Send help.” Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this?!
Up next: The 90’s called, and they want all of their hair and clothes back. See you tomorrow!
The holiday season is all about traditions. For some people, it’s baking cookies made from your grandmother’s family recipe. For others, it’s watching classics like White Christmas and Miracle on 34th street, snuggled under a flannel blanket with a steaming cup of cocoa. And for some, it’s spending an exorbitant amount of time cutting down a Christmas tree that will never, not even in a million years, ever be appropriate for your 700 sq. foot apartment. Oh wait, is that just me?
In my family, we have our own Christmas tradition that has taken place every year for over twenty five years. The Scalera’s don’t claim to be good at many things (unless you count being awesome at trivia games and making school projects mere hours before they are due), but there is one thing that every year, pulls us all together for a common cause.
The. Family. Christmas. Card.
Did you think I was going to say something charitable? Pssssh! Forget the poor and the downtrodden, there are almost a hundred families out there waiting for our Christmas card! Priorities, people! But seriously, Christmas cards are a big effing deal at my house. It started the year my parents got engaged, with a lovely sit down photo featuring a them and their cats. I know, nothing crazy, right? Except we have continued that tradition every year, making this year twenty nine I believe.
Back in the day, the card was just a nice photo that was a picture of me, then my sister and I and occasionally my parents would make an appearance. But over the years, this card has turned into an all-consuming thing that my mom starts preparing for in August. I swear, if we were more together she would have a story board and conference calls devoted to planning that year’s theme. Now it’s a mad dash that can only be coordinated if the four of us happen to be together at some point in November to agree on the theme and plan the execution of the photos. There is always a photo. If you ever get a store bought card from Doreen with an illustrated picture of a tree or something, call the police. She’s been abducted.
So in honor of Christmas being just about a week away, I wanted to share our years of holiday spirit with you and yours. Some of you reading may have received a few of these over the years, and to you I say, you’re welcome. Every day I will be revealing another group of these beauties on the blog, leading up to this year’s card. If you need help containing your excitement, well then… there’s something wrong with you.
Disclaimer: Some of these I am missing the actual card. I know, but you try keeping track of almost thirty years of Christmas joy in paper form. Some of these are just photos, and while a part of me slightly regrets not knowing what the witty accompanying message was, I think these pictures say enough.
Card #1 – 1985
So to be fair, this technically isn’t Card #1 for the Scalera’s. I know, this whole thing is now a sham. As I said before, the first was my parent’s engagement photo. Card #2 was their wedding picture. I chose to start with this adorable photo because this is when the card finally gets interesting. Because it’s MEEEEEEEEEE! That’s right. You have a baby and suddenly you’re not even on your card anymore. Because who can resist a baby in a Christmas dress on a Hunter green felt backdrop? Note the date in the corner- this picture was taken in October. Despite being a new mother, Doreen was still on.top.of.it. I’m not sure why I look so surprised, but I’m guessing it’s because I just realized what I was in for… for the rest of my life.
Card #2 – 1986
Is it just me, or should my parents have bought me a new pair of socks by now? Also I love how the danger of having a one and a half year old standing on a rocking chair is being overlooked for the sake of a quality Christmas card photo. I mean, it’s not like I’m Lily on Modern Family in a Diana Ross wig, but imagine if I had hurt myself? I’m sure no one at the local emergency room would have believed my parents when they told them it was an “accident” during a “Christmas card photo shoot.” But as we have learned, my parents will not be stopped when it comes to taking adorable holiday photos.
Card #3 – 1987
Okay, I swear I didn’t spend my entire childhood in pajamas. Although, it certainly would explain a lot now. Once again, I want to say that I’m standing on a chair. Also I have finally grown out of those Christmas socks and have moved on to Hush Puppies slippers. I think this is probably when my parents started thinking about having another kid because clearly, they were running out of ideas for a single child.
Look for the next round of pics tomorrow. Two children= double the options for photo ideas.