We started a holiday tradition early on.. Christmas Cards with Kylie’s picture. One of the first ones was in a Santa suit, which Kylie oddly loved to wear, she wore that thing ’til June! So we decided to take a picture of Kylie in the Santa suit and put it on a photo Christmas card. We made a comment when we were making plans for the photo shoot, ‘wouldn’t it be great if we had one of those fake fireplaces they use in school plays and such.’ Then I think that same week we went to garage sales and guess what we found… One of those Fake Fireplaces they use in school plays and such!! It was made out of styrofoam and cost $2, and it was amazing! And so were the pictures, everybody loved them, ‘Where in the world did you get a fireplace for the background?! (we were in Hawaii remember.) So a tradition was born!

We would start in october-ish trying to think of a cute idea..  reindeer antlers, wrapped in christmas lights, cuddling on the couch with the grinch, etc.

Part of the tradition was stamping each card with her actual paw print. This was not Kylie’s favorite part of the process,  but we explained to her that it made the cards more personal; plus she got lots of treats on card stamping day! So she was generally pretty cooperative.

We would also use the photo from the annual christmas card in that year’s Hallmark ornament (they do one every year for ‘the family dog’ with the year on it, that you can put a picture in). Just another family christmas tradition that over the years gave us a tree full of Kylie ornaments.

Eventually Kylie’s christmas cards got more sophisticated, with professional photos and real cards that fold (not just the printed photo kind).  But they never lost their charm, or Kylie’s paw print, or the significance of the tradition.

If you’re lucky, the holidays are for forming happy family traditions. We miss ours so much.