Christmas Cards

Christmas trees are thrown out, holiday dinners are consumed, and Santa heads back to the North Pole after Christmas Eve. Once the holidays pass, what is left to remember them by?

Christmas cards.

A tradition that started in my family before I was born and continues to still faintly live on is the Reser Family Christmas card. Year after year, my parents would either call the neighbors over to take a quick snapshot of our family or decide on a nice group photo from a vacation earlier that year.

Here is one of our earlier Christmas photos. This is from 1990.

Here is one of our earlier Christmas photos. This is from 1989.

**Disclaimer: Hopefully by now it has become obvious that I am writing about Christmas photo cards that families send out. However, I also have a major love for classic Christmas greeting cards as well. To hear about my obsession, read this blog post that Sidney wrote.**

We would then take the image to Costco and choose one of the warm holiday themed templates to put it in (of course all three Reser kids always had a different opinion on what template should be selected). The order would then be put in and a couple days later we would pick up our Christmas cards for that year.

This is my all-time favorite Christmas card my family sent out. This was us at the Christmas tree farm in 1995.

This is my all-time favorite Christmas card my family sent out. This was us at the Christmas tree farm in 1995.

Then, over the course of a couple nights, my dad would put his talent for calligraphy to good use and address all the envelopes and sign all the cards. We would watch him carefully write out all the addresses but woe to any of us who accidentally bumped the table while he was using his fancy gold pen.

This is my mom's all-time favorite Christmas card. We were all wearing our Bloomsday shirts. Bloomsday is a popular road race in Spokane. This is from 1998.

This is my mom’s all-time favorite Christmas card. We were all wearing our Bloomsday shirts. Bloomsday is a popular road race in Spokane. This is from 1998.

As the years passed, my parents would add a copy of the latest Christmas card to a photo album that showcased all of the cards in chronological order. As technology improved, my mom invested in one of those frames that changes itself, rotating pictures every few seconds. When Christmas time would come around, the frame would be displayed front and center in our living room as the photos from the past would flicker by.

This Christmas card photo was taken when we visited Arizona one October in 1999 to watch the Washington State Cougars play the Arizona State Sun Devils.

This Christmas card photo was taken when we visited Arizona one October in 1999 to watch the Washington State Cougars play the Arizona State Sun Devils.

What made these cards so special? It was the fact that we could watch ourselves grow over time. It was the fact that we could remember highlights and stages from years past. It was the fact that we could watch the evolution of Christmas cards go from a single print with a basic Christmas graphic to a glossy photo collage with artistic holiday scenes.

This Christmas card is from 2001. Glen is wearing his middle school shirt, I am wearing my high school sweatshirt, and my sister is wearing her college sweatshirt. I really like the colors in this photo.

This Christmas card is from 2001. Glen is wearing his middle school shirt, I am wearing my high school sweatshirt, and my sister is wearing her college sweatshirt. I really like the colors in this photo.

This year, Sidney and I start our own Christmas card tradition. Over the past weekend we worked on creating our inaugural holiday correspondence. With a wedding in the books and a baby on the way, we weren’t scraping the bottom of the barrel for ideas. We enjoyed the ease and variety of making our first card and we are pretty happy with how it turned out. For the sake of the card being a surprise for those who receive it, we thought it might be best to not share on this blog post.

If you are sending out Christmas cards this year, perhaps you will add the author of Don’t Blink to your recipient list. I promise he will return the favor. Don’t Blink.