The Buzz: Austinites’ ‘Game of Thrones’ Christmas card goes viral

How many times have your Christmas cards gone viral?
A holiday card created by Austinite Greg White and family has garnered almost 80,000 views on social news and entertainment website since the son of a friend who received it asked White for permission to upload it there. The attention on Reddit caught the eye of, which published it in an online story titled “38 Awesome Christmas Card Ideas You Should Steal.”
The Whites’ card, No. 14 in the list (just behind a humorous photo of a family on a couch all engaged with their tablets, phones and computers), shows their family dressed in the style of characters from HBO’s popular “Game of Thrones” series. White, his wife, Jenny, and their two children stand stoically (along with their dog) in front of an old stone wall in Tarrytown, looking off into the distance. “Winter is coming,” reads the card’s text (the phrase was the name of the series’ first episode and was used in marketing the show). The back of the card reads, simply, “Merry Christmas – House White.”
Jenny White, a fan of the books, came up with the idea late last year, but there wasn’t time to put it together for Christmas 2012. Around Thanksgiving this year, the family took pictures of characters to local costume shop Lucy in Disguise and put the outfits together.
Greg White is quick to point out that his children don’t watch the show. “They’re around 7, so they just liked the idea of being in costume,” he says.
He is surprised by the attention the card has received. “It wasn’t really our goal,” White says, “but the response has been really funny.” The project’s success has put the family in an interesting spot as far as next Christmas is concerned. “We feel like either we’ll never do another Christmas card or we’ve got to start planning now to try and think of some way to keep the fun going,” White says.
I have to admit that the Whites’ work has inspired me. It’s probably too late to shoot, print and mail my own Christmas cards now, but I might still have time to throw together a TV-themed card photo that I can e-mail to my friends and family. Here’s my plan:
My wife, kids and I will dress up (or, I guess, down) in hunting vests, ’do-rags and any camouflage-themed clothing we can find. I’ll pick up a couple of cheap toy guns at the dollar store and fashion ZZ Top-length beards (my kids will need them, too) out of that fake spiderweb stuff I have left over from Halloween. With very little work, we’ll be the spitting image of the cast of A&E’s reality series, “Duck Dynasty.”
Since I’m really sticking to the theme, I will have to mimic the ideals of suspended “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson who, I imagine, would not want me to send greetings to friends and family members who happen to be among the “adulterers, idolaters, male prostitutes, homosexual offenders, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers or swindlers” he infamously derides in the upcoming January issue of GQ Magazine.
I guess I won’t have to send out that many cards after all.

By Dale Roe