Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Our Family's Christmas Cards: Past & Present

Our family has been sending out Christmas cards since the year my husband and I got married, 1997, and this year I strongly considered not sending out any cards for the first time since those late 90s.  But, I couldn't keep myself from NOT sending them out.

I love sending out our photo cards.  (I don't write a Christmas letter, but sometimes I wish we started that tradition back in 1997 as a great way to document a year's worth of memories)

Our family also loves getting Christmas cards/letters in the mail.  We display our cards around a kitchen door frame decorated with lights.

I also enjoy looking through our past Christmas photo cards and smile at how our family has changed and grown through the years.

I thought I would share the Christmas photo cards we have sent past and present so you can walk down memory lane with me :)

 1997 Christmas Card 

( Hmmm...I wonder what we did in July of '97?  This is one of my favorite cards as it was the year the Smith family was established and I loved how our photo card had a church photo on it (that is cut off ) with the words "Silent Night".  This was before kids, you know, so our nights and days were silent. :)

 1998 Christmas Card

1999 Christmas Card

This was the last year that it would be just the two of us in our Christmas photos.  We were so blessed to conceive our first child in 1999. 

2000 Christmas Card

In May of 2000 we welcomed our first daughter into our hearts and home.  What a fun Christmas it was to watch how our daughter loved listening to all the Christmas music and playing with the wrapping paper.  :)   This was the year our daughter played Baby Jesus in a living nativity at a local parish. You know when you wrap a baby girl up in warm blankets and have her wear lots of layers, no one notices who is playing the Baby Jesus.  :)  

2001 Christmas Card

17 months after our daughter was born our son was born in October 2001  My oldest daughter and son get along well as they are close in age and my oldest never remembers life without her sweet little brother. 

2002 Christmas Card

2003 Christmas Card

This photo card reads "We are EXPECTING you to have a merry and blessed Christmas!  That was our clever way of announcing our pregnancy with Smith Baby #3.  I was in the "yuck" phase of the pregnancy during this photo shoot and when I look back at this card, I remember that I was so happy to be pregnant again, yet I was trying so hard to smile through the nausea, hence the somewhat forced grin :) 
2004 Christmas Card

Baby #3 came in June 2004 with a head full of black hair!  She found her hands fascinating as she looks down.  :)  

2005 Christmas Card

2006 Christmas Card


2007 Christmas Card

In November 2007, our 4th baby was born.  This picture was taken when we arrived home from the hospital.  I remember our older children couldn't come to the hospital to visit their new sister because my oldest daughter was sick with a strep throat. :(  

2008 Christmas Card

2009 Christmas Card

Yes, that is a wreath hanging from a tree limb in the middle of the woods.  :)  I was trying to make the woods festive :)   I laugh at this picture though because of the Christmas wreath that seems to be hanging in mid air coming from nowhere :) 

2010 Christmas Card

2011 Christmas Card

2012 Christmas Card

This picture was taken just after my sister's wedding ceremony in October 2012.  My younger daughters handed out the programs and my oldest daughter did a reading during the service.  My son was an altar server, hence his robe.   This was another "We are EXPECTING" you to have a Merry Christmas" cards since we conceived Baby #5 in November 2012.  She was born in July 2013.

2013 Christmas Card

This photo was taken in a Catholic church in PA when we went to visit my younger sister and her family for Thanksgiving in 2013. 

2014 Christmas Card

And this is this year's Christmas card.  These pictures were taken in September 2014 when my family had a reunion with my parents, two brothers and my younger sister and their families.   

I hope you have enjoyed looking at just how fast our family has changed and grown through the years because it has been fun for me to think back to the many memories and blessings from the past 17 years since our first Christmas card in 1997.  

So do you send out Christmas cards and/or Christmas letters? 
May you have a blessed and merry Christmas!
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Anonymous said...

Tracy, this is such a wonderful post! I love seeing all the family pictures for each year! You are so very blessed!

Patty said...

I am with you all the way here, even up to, should I send them out this year since it was a tough fall in our house. But I did. And I am glad!

Your pictures are beautiful! It was fun to see how your family has evolved throughout the years.

I frame our pictures in pretty Christmas frames each year. Then I place them around the house as part of our Christmas decorations ;)

May your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Chris said...

Oh my gosh, I love this!
Great idea to compile all the Christmas photos chronologically!

We stopped sending cards a few years ago......we sent photo cards beginning in 2000, Kevin's 1st Christmas, thru 2011. In 2012, I couldn't do it anymore: time, expense . So Kev put together a collage on the computer that year with photo highlights and I emailed it to many.
Last year and this year, no.

I do love having the cards though. I have each of our photo cards framed....maybe we'll start sending them out again....

Thx for the lovely post ~~ I hope you enjoy your last days before Christmas!

In fact, we are baking and ggbread house making today AND using a variation of your pretzel, choc, M and M recipe! I'll let you know how it goes!

Billie Jo said...

Loved sharing your Christmas cards!
We send them out every year,..
I love sending them and receiving them too. : )
Have a blessed Christmas!

Unknown said...

I love this. How fun to see all of your cards and watch the family grow. We've always sent cards and a Christmas letter, but I don't think I can track them all down. What a fun way to cherish your memories.

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