a few weeks ago i was talking with a friend and she mentioned that getting her children dressed up and then getting a time scheduled with the photographer and then having outfits picked out for her husband and her, getting to the location, making everyone be happy for an hour...it was just all too much for her husband this year. too much. not this year - he wasn't going to do it.

instead, he suggested they pocket that mula, pick out casual clothes, go on a hike to one of their favorite family spots and take family pictures there...with their nice camera. he felt like it was much more natural and not such a production.

i saw their family pictures taken with their nice camera, a tripod, and a timer. they turned out beautiful and natural and they paid zero dollars. that's a family win all over the place.

for me? i couldn't agree more with the husband. it really does feel like a production.

but before we i get too far,  it's a production i gladly participate in year after year. i justify this because, as the mom, i'm ALWAYS the one behind the camera. in 20 years if my gals were to look back at photo albums they would probably say, "oh, dad raised us." because my picture wouldn't be there! can i get an amen?

but here's the thing - whether you snap the images yourself, hire a photographer, use a collection you've taken with your iphone - i truly think that one company does the very best job when it comes to creating a holiday card for your nearest and dearest - minted. i've used them for home decor, birthday parties, baby showers, and our holiday cards for years now and never once have they disappointed. in fact...they just keep getting better. (see my original post here.)

this year i chose a bold, gold foil finish (found here) for our christmas card and it's just so gorgeous. especially when you put it altogether with the matching envelope with pre-printed addresses, and their custom return address wrappers. i love it all.

the other detail i love is that you can add more pictures to the back as well as a message to all your family and friends - should you choose that particular backer. there are loads to choose from to make your card customized.

if you haven't ordered your holiday cards yet - give minted a go! they also have a wonderful selection of new year cards. that way everybody will think you planned it that way...right? right.

to make things even sweeter - minted is offering up two $125 credits! all you have to do is enter your name and e-mail address here and you're all set! the giveaway will run until thursday (15th) and i'll be announcing the winners on friday! yay!

no, seriously...get entered! it's so easy!

not in the market for a holiday card - have a look at their other goodies - wall art, home decor, customizable gifts! the list goes on and on.