The Acardemy Awards 2009

Well, I have to admit, I didn’t think I was going to get many cards this year. Superman didn’t either. He thought we’d receive maybe 5 or 6 to barely cover our little card-holder wreath. We both assumed most of our friends would resort to Facebook greetings or e-cards or online photo scrapbooks. …

But we forgot about people like my mom, and Aunt Rita, and Shirley.

We forget about all our older relatives who barely use e-mail, let alone Facebook. We forgot about all our friends who take great pictures of their kids and/or vacation travels and truly know how to showcase them. And we forgot about my girlfriends and cousins who still love to make cards by hand (creative, all of you!). And I guess we just forgot that some people (we consider ourselves part of this group, despite our love for iPhones and netbooks) just like to run out to the mailbox, still in with that old-fashioned feeling of anticipation. . …

So, much to our delight, here’s how our card holder looked after all:


And here are the winners of the 2009 Acardemy Awards:

(The 2008 winners, including Bookclub Barbara, Aunt Betty, and Valencia Libby, are here.)

For The First Card Out, this year’s award goes to Shirley of Beverly Hills. I’m always impressed by the winner of this award each year and always eager to see when that first card will arrive. Interestingly, this year it came later than ever (second week of December!), so I think we were all a little behind this year, but Shirley took the trophy on this one. Her card with her photo in Vienna was the first to bring a smile to my face at my mailbox this year!

This year’s award for Gorgeous Photography arrived shortly afterward, from Grace. Grace has the most beautiful children, so she can hardly go wrong. But she also has an incredible artists’ eye, and I loved her chosen photos of all her kids, the way they were laid out, and the fact that they were in black and white. She really captured the joy in her children’s eyes about just being kids. Loved it. She gets props for having the coolest return-address labels, too. …

The award for Card of the 21st Century goes to two people this year — last year’s winner, UCLA Deb, stepped up with another super-cool online scrapbook that came via e-mail. Each page was one you could “turn” online, and had music and captions. Can I say “JUST AWESOME”??? Too fun. A very close runner-up, though, was Superman’s buddy Dave in Virginia (his wife Cindy really planned it — she’s a designer). They sent a beautiful online slideshow with lovely, lovely pictures of their kids in the snow and playing on the swings and just soooooooo cute. She takes gorgeous pics of her little girls — really great closeups with so much childhood beauty to them.

There were lots of runners-up for this year’s Cool Places/Settings award.  This year we got to see Hawaii/waterfall (Jersey Girl/Dad), Banff (Bookclub Lauran), Vienna (Shirley named above), Cancun in bathing suits and Santa hats – cute (Zeds), and more. It was a tough call this year, but I think the award has to go to Bookclub Lauran on this one because she had a neat clear label on the back that told us exactly where it was (and even gave photo cred!), which I thought was a great idea.

Award for the New To The Whole Family-Christmas Card Thing is another tie — super cute new photo from my nephew-in-law AD and his new fiancee. I can hardly believe he’s old enough to be sending out photo cards with a fiancee, since I used to accompany him to Chuck E. Cheese on a regular basis, but there it was. And the tie goes to Bookclub Debbie with her adorable new baby. [Deep sigh for cuteness.]

Lastly, the award for Stays Longest in My Memory goes to childhood friend Ann Marie, because I thought about her card for days after receiving it. Mostly I thought about it because I was shocked — jaw-dropping shocked, I mean — to see how much her oldest daughter looks like her sister. When you have a childhood friend like that (like I spent many, many days at her house with her family when I was elementary-school age), and you see a photo that flashes you back to childhood with such speed, it just makes your stomach feel all squishy for a second. Beautiful girl, beautiful memories (specifically, stealing some Bobby Sherman records from said older sister), and the awe of family genes all came into play there.

I think next year I’ll have to do an award for Kids Who Most Resemble The Way I Remember Their Parents. That’ll be a fun one. …

Anyway, thank you so much for coming to this year’s Acardemy Awards (brought to you by Diet Coke and early-morning sunshine). Please exit slowly and have a safe drive home. …

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4 thoughts on “The Acardemy Awards 2009

  1. Thanks, Laurie! You know how I love Christmas cards. You’ll laugh when you find out that those pix were taken by my neighbor in about 5 minutes after school one day. Threw on some clothes, sort of brushed their hair, let’s go! I used black and white because none of their clothes color-coordinated.

    And, those labels, I was going to buy off a cool site called, but couldn’t justify $70 for address labels, so had to figure out a way to make them myself. Totally stole their design ideas for the label and the card! A lot more work, but a lot cheaper… Just HAD to have those wrap-around labels once I saw them.

    Still tripping out at your kids, and how much older they look. I remember when Rene was just learning to talk! Ack! Happy new year!

  2. Well — I guess I need to step it up next year so I can get an honorable mention!
    Hmmmm – we have an Alaskan cruise planned in May, so maybe I should take some ‘props’ for our 2010 Christmas card.

    I too enjoy getting Christmas cards the old fashioned way even though I’m on Facebook and even know how to upload pictures! I think I got the love of sending and receiving cards from your Grandma. I think the year she turned 100 was the first Christmas she didn’t send out cards. So perhaps its genetic.

  3. I’m so honored! I think we started giving photo credit 4-5 years ago and since then it’s become somewhat of a competition amongst our friends. Carolyn worked very hard to be the ‘one’ this year so I share the Cool Places/Settings award with her! What a great idea Laurie. I love reading your blogs and posted it on my site to drum up some new readers for you (hopefully).

  4. Grace — Oh, that’s a great story about your neighbor taking the pics in 5 mins. And good tip about going black-and-white if the clothes don’t color-coordinate. Not that it’s imperative that children’s clothes color-coordinate, of course, but it really does make you focus on their expressions (and their smiles, and how much they look alike, and their beautiful eyes) when you’re not getting distracted by any color. Loved it. And you made those return address labels yourself??? Very cool, with the wrap-around thing. They probably helped seal the envelope, too, which I often have trouble with in those mass-produced cards. Great job!

    Aunt Helene — Yes!!! Definitely do a pic from your cruise next year! I always suggest to my mom to do a picture from one of her trips, but she never does. But it’s so fun for people to see where you travel. And yeah, maybe Grandma passed that gene on to all of us — you, my mom, me, Aunt Rita, Georgianne, Michele, etc. … We’ll be the “Real Cards Club.”

    Lauran — Love the additional details about the photo credit. That’s funny that your friends compete for it now! Did you make the clear labels with the place and photo credit yourself, or did it come from Shutterfly? Very cute. …

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