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I'm dreaming of a YouTube Christmas (card)

When Behan asked about reducing the impact of holiday greeting cards, it really got our family thinking. This was really a stumper. I love getting holiday cards. And despite my complaints about the process, some years I actually like the picture we get of our entire family. For those family and friends that live far away, I also like the aspect of showing them how the children are growing. So we decided to focus our creative efforts and create a YouTube holiday video card this year.

There are some prerequisites:

  • digital video or still images (most of us use only digital now, right?)
  • digital music (most of us listen to digital music now, right?)
  • digital editing software (if you have a Mac, iMovie software is included)
  • a little bit of creativity

It just so happens, we have all of these in spades. Cheap-o-Dad really missed his calling as a movie maker. Heather can vouch for him. His iMovies are gems.

So, as is the case in all of the movies our family makes, Cheap-o is the director. The kids are the talent. Cheap-o and I occasionally have walk-on parts. And I get to be the executive producer. This mostly entails boring questions and comments, such as: "Well, the concept is great. Very creative. I love it. My concern is will we finish on time and on budget?" Budget is not really a factor, since it doesn't cost us anything but time and creativity. But hey, if I'm getting credit as the Executive Producer I've got to act like money is a concern, right? First and foremost is the timeline. Seeing as this is a Christmas video, we do truly hope to finish filming, editing and production by Christmas. So that gives us about 10 more days to get this baby in the can...

The talent and director have been busy today on their B-roll. We shot the A-roll the other night. Editing will probably commence late tonight, after the kids have gone to bed. Quite possibly, it will be an all-nighter for Cheap-o. The good news is he enjoys the creative process, and says once he has his storyboards the movie will pretty much make itself.

There was a part of me that has always resisted email holiday greetings. But this year, I've changed my mind. I'm looking at lessening the impact of sending cards and photos. And I also love the fact that there's no limit to the amount of friends we can send it to, and they can comment or send us a note back right away. Since that is the one pleasure lacking in mailed paper/photo cards: the friendly dialog. I can't tell you how many lovely cards we get each year with fabulously cute photos and newsy notes, and I always want to talk to those senders right then and there. But I never do pick up the phone. I'm not really a phone person. But email, video and blogs, those are my thing. That's why our family is dreaming of and creating a YouTube Christmas card this year.


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