First of all, I would like to thank those who commented for participating in our first ever giveaway! I also want to extend heart-felt congratulations to TESS (check out her blogs- Atlastphotography and the 365 photo blog) for winning the random drawing for her very own HOME HUB NOTBOOK SYSTEM including: white-clear-view-pocket binder, fun binder pouch, two sheets of business card holders, notebook paper, 10 colored dividers with pockets, and sheet protectors! Here it is!!!!
For those of you wondering how I made it random… each of the comments was assigned a number in the order they were received. The numbers were then put into a bowl and a blind drawing commenced. Like so….
It was VERY scientific.
Now on with the Simplifying!
How was the shopping? I must admit that I am usually mostly finished with my shopping by this point in the season, and yet this weekend I feel like I have just begun. Take heart, even the organized are human.
For those who have shopped and kept up with Simplifying the Season, Yay you! You are well on your way to that stress free Christmas you have dreamed of. For the rest of us, let's get cracking!
This week's topic: You should have been in pictures!
Seasonal Portraits. This is an insane time of year for portrait studios. We only do family portraits once a year and this is it! Just this week the photo place that we use starts scheduling for the first week of December. If you have not yet thought of booking a time slot for this traditional favorite, do it this week. December is bound to fill up quickly. Things to keep in mind when planning this particular picture possibility (I had to go with the alliteration):
- What outfits do you want you and your family to wear?
- What is your alternate outfit choice?
- Do you need to work around school, work, and nap schedules?
- Keep these same things in mind when going to visit Santa.
While we're on the subject of Pictures, let's talk about:
Christmas Cards. The way I see it, if someone has not sent me a card in the past two years OR if someone sends me a card and only signs it without imparting any personal information whatsoever (example: "Merry Christmas! Love, Aunt June"), they do not really want to stay in touch with me. These two categories of people are off my Christmas card list. They probably breathe a sigh of relief for not having to send me a card just because I sent them one. We are being economical with postage and papers. We are being environmentally friendly with our resources as well. All of this, not to mention the amount of time we save by not writing and sending the abundance of cards. (I'm stepping on toes again aren't I? I am a-ok with that!) In return, I will not send a Christmas card where I simply sign it. I include the family portrait, or at least a picture of my son. I hand-write a few short notes about what has happened with us individually that may be of interest to the card recipient. (I am not against a wholesale typed up Christmas/end of the year letter.) I enjoy receiving little notes about what our friends and family have been up to for the past year in their cards as well. Both practices of sending the Christmas Cards and writing the Christmas letter are fine traditions. Make sure you plan a list of those who will receive cards. Sit down with you address book/various directories. Note the people for whom you would like to send cards. (Sounding similar to our Christmas Wish List Shopping? Hmmmm. I sense a theme!) Seriously consider if you will have the time to send out cards with more than a "Love Mary" sentiment attached. Make out the card envelopes (or if you do not yet have cards, make labels). Labels can be hand-written or typed, but having them ready to stick and go when you are ready is a great resource! Go ahead and write your Christmas letter NOW. Many people will have a little extra time off to recreate this week with the Thanksgiving Holiday at hand. Make card labels and your Christmas letter a priority before the season escapes you… Otherwise, (and I do not believe this is a bad sentiment if it is what you plan to do) you may be sending out New Year's Cards.
Feel free to share your thoughts on portraits, Christmas Cards, New Years Cards, and the "family newsletter"… or any other randomness that you feel like sharing with us as we Simplify the Season!
Next time we will talk about wrapping all those gifts. For those of you participating in Black Friday, Godspeed!