by Sandy Coughlin
The Reluctant Entertainer 
Medford blogger, author, entertainer
When Tiny Prints  said they’d sponsor our holiday card this year, my husband and daughter put their heads together and came up with our FUN idea, one which our family all agreed to be a part of.
Traditions are different for everyone, but card giving this time of year is something our family really enjoys.
I also love taking a short walk to our mail box, about 150 feet (how many steps?) of pure anticipation. Whose beautiful faces do we get to view today?
To open the mailbox and find a variety of envelopes, addresses that are handwritten (okay, a few labels, too!) holiday cards, pictures, letters – from friends and loved ones–we really appreciate friends who are still able to take the time to mail traditional cards.
Story behind our card:
It’s the creative concept that Paul and Abby came up with that made our photo-taking so unique and exciting this year, and then put it into action with lighting and staging – and of course the help of Haggis!
Why Haggis? Our dog (Cairn Terrier) is a memorable character in our lives and now Christmas letter this year, well, like most years.
Picture-taking has not been so fun in the past, but this year we all decided it’s the most fun we’ve ever had. More than the standard sit and grin photo.
How we pulled it off:
The boys came home from college for a weekend. We had their shirts, ties, vests ready to go. I pulled a small turkey from the oven, whipped up mashed potatoes and green beans, and had store-bought pie and rolls. Easy. You’ll be happy to know we didn’t waste any of the food. We actually cut the turkey before we let Haggis chow down, so we’d have a nice meal to enjoy after.
Who took the photo:
Abby took the photo. It was her job to set up the tripod and get the shots, and then edit and help choose the photos. It’s fun having a child who loves photography!
Choose the greeting:
LIVE LOVE LAUGH …
With Tiny Prints  you can flip through the many pages of holiday greetings and choose one that matches your photo, family, personality, or your approach toward the holidays.
Our hope this year is that our card would bring a smile to many.
Humor and levity this time of year – we need to go to the mailbox, open the mail, and SMILE, don’t you think?
Choose the paper:
We chose a thick card stock paper, which is new from Tiny Prints. It’s a premium double thick matte paper. It feels so good when you pull the card out of the envelope. (By the way, I made sure that it didn’t cost more than a normal postage stamp to mail the card.) You can even get rounded edges …
And a photo on the back:
How many card companies offer a photo on the back of the card, too?
Why Tiny Prints:
Last year  we used Tiny Prints, too, but I wanted to share with you the difference and quality of this company compared to others:
1. Dazzling designs: they use the industry’s most talented artists.
2. Quality you can feel: thick, plush card stock. You can feel the difference.
3. Etiquette and expertise: they listen to you and your needs and help you put the finishing touch on the card.
4. Perfection guaranteed: they’ll make sure you are happy with the end result.
When I sent our order in, they gave me some cool suggestions on how to make the card better! Wow, that was true customer service. They really do care about the end result.
If you’re reading this post and do not send out holiday cards, Tiny Prints also does photo books, ornaments (cool idea!), calendars, announcements, party invitations – you name it.
Premier quality. Really the best I’ve ever seen.
Preparing the cards is a favorite for me. Which says a lot about our family. We not only love getting photos from others, we love to give a recap of our lives to friends and family.
Both coming up with our own family’s photo idea, and seeing the creativity of others.
It means a lot to handwrite the addresses and think about the families I’m sending cards to, even though it takes a few hours. One option for many card companies now is that you can email them your address list and they’ll address the envelope and even mail them for you. Fabulous idea, but I’m a little old-fashioned.
I love the feel of paper, and the few hours of putting it all together.
Will you have a photo on your holiday card this year? A formal or a more casual shot?
This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints , who provided our Christmas cards this year; but as always, all opinions are my own.