Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Cards & DVDs ~ WFMW

With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, many dread writing Christmas cards. Some choose to do them in January. Some even refuse to do them at all. I suspect, that there are even recipients who dread the arrival of these cards in their mailboxes. I am not one of them. While I particularly enjoy receiving cards (and the letter that often accompanies them), I much prefer sending them myself. I am certain that is why I continue to send over 60 cards every year despite receiving fewer than 2 dozen.

Two years ago, rather than send a letter highlighting our numerous family adventures, I made a collage of some of my favorite photos. I didn't think my idea was all that unique but those I spoke with were pleasantly surprised. This got me to thinking... what more could I do? What would be better than a few random photographs? What could share our story in a way that was both entertaining and informative? I decided to make a DVD.

I sent my first DVD in 2006 and despite the fact that it was an experiment of trial & error (there were many things I wanted to do but couldn't with the software I had available, I made many errors, and I was slightly unsatisfied with my end-product). However, the responses I heard were all of joy, delight and merriment. I was encouraged to try again... to invest in better software.

That brings us to 2007. I made another DVD and titled it, '2007 - A Magical Year' (for we vacationed in Disneyland). I included many more photographs. I added background music. The still photos transitioned into mini-video clips. I added voice-over narration. It was all remarkably easy. I burned my mini-movie onto DVDs and sent them out with our Christmas cards. Everyone loved them! An aunt even telephoned me to tell me how much she enjoyed it and said, "I've watched it 3 times, already! It's great and the kids are so adorable." Some friends have even asked if I could help them make one for them.

Not only does the DVD make a great little surprise for the recipient, it also makes a memorable keepsake for ourselves. I plan to make one every year and keep them in a CD pocket within our Christmas scrapbook.


  1. I enjoyed making my own video film when my laptop still functions properly. I missed the ability to capture those magical moments in the tip of my fingers! They do make the greatest gift of all.

    On a separate note, I wonder as I navigate through the blog thing and am still learning. Do you get a message when I reply to comments you and other leave at my blog? I was exciting to hear you sent in 4H leader application and had a few questions. I'll catch you at the show this morning ooooh in a hour! I better get off the computer now...See you. Blessings, Sarah

  2. I would have never thought of that myself and like you I enjoy the cards and letters. And I enjoy sending them out. Hugs!

  3. thats a great idea! So different from a card or letter.

  4. Brilliant idea! Maybe our family needs to do more next year so I do borrow this idea! :)

  5. What a wonderful idea! Would you mind describing the process more? For example, what kind of software do you use and how to put it together? I don't know anything about making a DVD at all. Thanks!

  6. Jendeis ~ I have a Mac so I used iMovie (to gather all the still photos and video clips together, add captions, music, and voice over narration). I then used iDVD to make the DVD with a standard DVD menu, etc. Everything is very streamlined and easy on the Mac. They even have step by step tutorials on their website that shows new users how to navigate/use their programs.

    Had we stayed with our PC, I had planned to buy Photoshop Premiere Elements & Photoshop Elements (software bundle) which I believe did many of the same things.

  7. What a neat idea! We went to Disneyworld this year, too! This is my first time on your blog, it's great - I'll be back to visit!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.