That Family Portrait Holiday Card

27 October 2014

There’s a beautiful park situated right behind my apartment decked out with fountains, bronze statues, trees that bloom bright in the Spring and leaves that turn golden in the Fall. This park is the quintessential location in Syracuse for family portraits, engagement shoots and high school senior headshots. At any given time of the year there are lovers canoodling on benches, a mother corralling little ones and high school seniors posing with their objects of affection (I’ve seen softball bats, violins, a pony, basketballs (plural), you name it, these kids are solidifying it in memory book history).

Over the last month I’ve noticed the park has been overrun by families trying to achieve the perfect shot which will double as their ubiquitous holiday greeting card cover. Here’s the rub: I love seeing my nephews faces in any shape or form, even on a holiday card, but I will most likely trash it come January 1st. All that hard work, junked. It’s the truth, all holiday cards die.

However, Business 101, I am not one to complain without offering a solution.

If you’ve already gone through the family session portraits, bookmark this post for next year. If you’re procrastinating, proclaiming “it’s not even Halloween yet,” then you’re in luck!

Let’s:

Step 1) Stick to the family portrait session. I love seeing how brilliantly everyone mixes + matches their outfits yet seems so cohesive. (Looking at you Taylor & Adam Brown.) It’s not an easy task! But, SLIGHT CHANGE HERE: Instead of the holiday fold-over-card- form, how about we print out the family photo using my favorite app of all time: Prinstagram (or any other digital printing service.)

Then…this is the most important part…. 

Step 2) Can we first all agree that most holiday cards get chucked? So why not make an enormous difference with the holiday card you choose even after its long gone its purpose goes beyond the wastebasket. Your hard-earned dollars are put to good use. Enclose the recently printed family portrait in one of the following holiday cards from The Robin Hood Foundation in New York City.

Many of you that are on my holiday mailing list may recognize The Robin Hood Foundation holiday cards from seasons past. 100% of my purchase will go towards fighting poverty in New York.

In 2013 alone, Robin Hood granted more than $126 million to fight poverty in New York City as well as $56 million to aid those affected by superstorm Sandy. Robin Hood researches and identifies and then funds just over 200 of the most effective organizations on the front lines of the battle against poverty.

Poverty comes in many forms:

  • Body: When you are hungry and cold. 1 in every 6 New Yorkers (that’s  1.4 million of our neighbors) rely on daily emergency food.
  • Mind: When you lack an education. 40% of NY’s Public School students won’t graduate on time.
  • Opportunity: When every door you try to open is closed. 365,0000 New Yorkers looked for work today but didn’t find any.

The Robin Hood Board of Directors pay for all administrative and fundraising costs so 100% of your donation will go directly to fighting poverty. Everyone of your holiday cards will go directly to feeding, sheltering, educating and nurturing our less fortunate neighbors.

Result: Family portrait preserved for longer than a season, hopefully all year-long and your greeting cards make a difference.

“Why Robin Hood? There is literally no foundation, no activity, that is more effective.” – Eric Schmidt, Google

There are three design by incredible artists, examples below.  Each card has the following text pre-printed inside: “A generous donation has been made in YOUR honor.” A set of 10 costs $30, but you have more friends than that, don’t you?  Order right here.

Classic New York

Happy New Years: A foil-stamped and embossed ball descends into the New York City skyline, ringing in 2015.

Happy New Years: A foil-stamped and embossed ball descends into the New York City skyline, ringing in 2015.

Snow Mandala

Snow Mandala: A mandala is a geometric pattern that represents the universe. This original artwork from artist C. Finley consists of a mandala made of snowflakes, which represent the uniqueness of each human being. Floating above is the symbol of Robin Hood, which recognizes the importance of every human being.

Snow Mandala: A mandala is a geometric pattern that represents the universe. This original artwork from artist C. Finley consists of a mandala made of snowflakes, which represent the uniqueness of each human being. Floating above is the symbol of Robin Hood, which recognizes the importance of every human being.

My personal favorite. Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen are internationally known for their collaborative practice. In this charcoal-and-pastel piece, entitled French Horn, Unwound, Horn Against Ground, a French horn has been unwound into an intriguing golden ribbon.

My personal favorite. Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen are internationally known for their collaborative practice. In this charcoal-and-pastel piece, entitled French Horn, Unwound, Horn Against Ground, a French horn has been unwound into an intriguing golden ribbon.

French Horn, 2001.

French Horn, 2001.

  • http://www.vainpursuits.com/blog Audrey

    We get so many Christmas cards every year at my house – I haven’t lived at home for a few years now, so this post totally brought me back. The sad thing about being a 20-something is you’re too young for your friends to send you Christmas greetings! Those are very beautiful cards. I especially like the snow mandala! I love the idea of a small donation in addition to your greeting cards – it is the season of giving, after all – might as well kill two birds with one stone! Or, you know, cheer two birds with one card, I guess.

    xoxo
    Audrey

    • jess arb

      I was torn between the mandala and the french horn too (since I’m obviously very obsessed with mandalas!) You’re so right Audrey, it is the season of giving – it’s a feel good kinda card.