I don’t know if you read the last blog post, but while I as adding a few links to show just how the craze for life sized cut outs is really taking off I put one in that brings up a Wikipedia page about the “Flat Daddy” phenomena and the whole idea just struck me as being really appropriate for this time of year.
Now, I’m not known for being overly sentimental, but over the years I’ve worked away from the home and family quite a lot and I can really identify with what the families are doing, and I think it’s just great. A “flat daddy” or “flat mommy” is a life sized cardboard cut out of someone who is away for a while, either working, travelling or in hospital – whatever the reason – and they can’t be at home for special occasions. The cut outs create a connection at the event which, although it doesn’t compare with having the actual person there, does keep that person in everyone’s mind, and is great for taking photos with. The pics can then also be sent to the person and acts as a link to say “you were here – and we did think of you”.
The idea started in the US around 2003 when families of troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan had them printed up, and since then the idea has spread. It’s not as popular here in the UK just yet, but with printing technology now available commercial printers are able to produce the cut outs at a fraction of the cost they used to. As more and more people spend time away from home for one reason or another, I really hope the idea catches on over here.
My travelling days are over and my kids are pretty much grown up, so I think we can spare the world from my life sized middle aged spread, but my eldest is talking about going to university now. I think I’ll put all my money in a pile and have a cut out made of that – I’m really going to miss it!