When Are You Too Old For a Holiday Card Photo?

Posted on December 16, 2013 by - Generational Marketing

Family Holiday picture

Family Holiday picture

As someone who has friends and family spread all over many states and several continents, I always looked forward to receiving holiday card photos. Once I became a parent, I started my own tradition of sending out family photo cards with pictures of my two daughters. Of course, this was before Facebook, Instagram and other social media networking sites, and also before ecards.

After several years, I started to receive requests to incorporate myself and my husband into the picture. We felt somewhat uncomfortable with the idea, but acquiesced and added ourselves to the annual holiday card. Since that time the question of moms including themselves in the holiday card photo has become a popular topic, as can be read in Allison Tate’s article in The Huffington Post called “The Mom Stays in the Picture.”

Fast forward more than a decade. I have been receiving annual resistance from my college-aged daughters. They feel that it is time to table the tradition as they are too old. They were polite enough not to add that they think my husband and I are also too old. They informally polled their friends, who mostly agree that it is time for their own parents to stop sending out these cards.
They find it embarrassing and think it is time to highlight the next generation. They don’t believe that anyone is interested in seeing a picture of a 20 year old on a holiday card.

I Googled this topic and found zero results. My daughters and I agree to disagree on this topic, so this will be the last year we are including family photos in our holiday cards. And, this year, the cards went out to an “approved list” of recipients. My entire career has been spent working in the aging field and giving out advice as an elder care marketing expert. Even with my professional background, I don’t have an answer to the question of, “how old is too old to be included in holiday card photos”? What do you think?

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the owner and Founder of Focus on Aging, a Chicago-based marketing consulting company. To learn more about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging.

5 Responses to “When Are You Too Old For a Holiday Card Photo?”

  1. Heidi Stone on

    You raise a good question. You left me wondering, would your daughters continue this tradition with their families?

    Thanks for sharing….