What will they think of next?If a list titled “Favorite Cards to Grace Our Mailbox” was created, the Eckhoffs of Alexandria would surely top that list. At least if the more than 80 recipients they send cards to had anything to say about it.
By: Stacie Kimball, Alexandria Echo Press
What will they think of next? Family’s unique photo Christmas cards generate lots of laughs.
If a list titled “Favorite Cards to Grace Our Mailbox” was created, the Eckhoffs of Alexandria would surely top that list. At least if the more than 80 recipients they send cards to had anything to say about it.
As the days grow closer to Christmas, many mailboxes start filling up with Christmas cards. An estimated 1.9 billion greeting cards are sent each holiday season.
Some cards are beautifully crafted and seemingly picked specifically for the person they were sent to and some are clearly from a generic box of cards. Some cards contain only a signature from the sender and some have a hand-written greeting. Photo cards are widely sent and many people enjoy writing the ever-popular “Christmas letter.”
Everyone has their preferences of what they send and many have certain cards they look forward to receiving.
Patti and Jeff Eckhoff have been sending out humorous photo Christmas cards for more than 12 years.
The first cards began when the couple’s two boys, Corey and Keith, were young and still living at home.
“We believe you need to keep Christ in Christmas,” said Patti. “And because of my faith, I like to keep a positive attitude.”
Patti comes up with the majority of ideas for their cards. “My husband, Jeff, is good at coming up with the slogans,” she noted.
The first unique card the Eckhoffs sent was a photo of the family bundled up in winter wear to the extreme where their faces were hardly visible. The side bar had a simple graphic that said, “Warm wishes for the holidays.”
Throughout the years the cards have gotten more creative.
The stories the Eckhoffs share in their photo cards are memories that will last. Patti explained, “Christmas is a joyous occasion to celebrate all year.” The blissful smile on her face remained, as she shared, “I don’t like to take life too seriously.”
It wasn’t until the family sent out a more traditional photo card that they really knew how anticipated their Christmas greetings were.
When the Eckhoffs’ son, Corey, was married they sent out a Christmas card that included a family photo from the wedding. After the cards were sent out, Patti’s brother lightly shared his disappointment in the serious Christmas card.
“Now it is expected of us,” said Patti, referring to the creative humor cards that have been sent out by them.
People on the Eckhoffs’ list look forward to the cards they send and they have received feedback. One note read, “Your cards are the ones I wait for every year!” While another one said, “We wait every year for your Christmas card and this year’s was well worth the wait. Such a great card.”
Sir Henry Cole of London commissioned the first Christmas cards in 1843 and he did so in a humorous, joyous sense. The cards featured the artwork of John Callcott Horsley. The illustration was of a family with a small child merrily drinking wine together.
The Eckhoffs have inadvertently followed the lead of a cheerful Christmas message from 1843. Only they know what they’ll think of next. No matter what, this year’s Christmas card is sure to bring a smile and a hardy laugh to those who wait for it.