Perhaps you’re already looking ahead to the end of the holiday season and dreading writing a slew of thank you notes over the next few weeks. Avoid having to nag the kids to write those notes (which you ultimately dictate yourself), and consider sending a special heartfelt thank you this holiday season; create a video thank you.
If your family is like mine, cameras are flashing and video recorders are rolling when the kids are tearing open their presents, so consider re-purposing those family memories to send as thank yous—particularly for people who can’t be there when you open gifts. What could be a more compelling expression of gratitude than sharing the shrieks of excitement while your child unwraps a gift, or showing how they're using it after the festivities end?
Creating a video thank you can be quick and easy if you prepare by getting the shots you want in advance. Here are some tips to create your own video thank yous that will make the gift givers thank YOU!
- Set the scene: a shot of wrapped packages under the tree, a shot of holiday decorations inside and outside of the house, special holiday traditions (singing carols, reading "Twas the Night Before Christmas").
- Capture the anticipation: If the gift giver drops the present off in person, capture your child showing his excitement while waiting, with his/her nose pressed up to the window or jumping around until you open the door.
- Catch the unwrapping action: Record your child's excitement while ripping the giftwrap off of the package, or while you’re cutting off the tags or assembling the toy. Make sure that the person taking the photo or video has a clear shot of your subject’s face to show their expressions.
- Record the "Thank you:" Record a close-up of your child saying thank you – clearly in a sentence, or make a thank you sign.
- Show the enjoyment: Capture your child playing with the toy or wearing the outfit. If they play with the toy nonstop, then take a video in the morning in their PJ's, in the afternoon during a playdate or sleeping with the toy in bed. Showing how the toy is appreciated and how they're using it helps to tell the story in a more powerful way.
- Keep it short and sweet: Make the video short and to the point. Keep it under a minute and a half if you're putting together an entertaining montage. Otherwise, 30-45 seconds is more than enough time to convey your appreciation—and that includes the two seconds it takes the average kid to yell "Thanks!"