Of the myriad of things I love about the holiday season, opening Christmas cards is way up there on the list. The photo card definitely rules these days, and with the season of life that we are in right now, we get tons of photo cards from friends with young children. I love them all, and I can't help to reflect on my own attempts to get that "perfect" photo of my hoodlums for the annual holiday card. It goes something like this:
Step 1: Spend entirely too much time, energy, and probably money on finding two cute holiday outfits that don't clash.
Step 2: Procrastinate for weeks about scouting a good location for holiday picture. Finally realize that picture must be taken TODAY!!!!. Accept the fact that it is 28 degrees outside and clean out one corner of house so that it appears cozy, clean and well-decorated.
Step 3: Dress children. Listen to the whining and bickering commence.
Step 4: Pour yourself a stiff drink (only advantage of not using a professional photographer).
Step 5: Begin photographing children. Bribe them to sit together nicely by giving them M&M's in between photos. Take about 50 pictures, then realize we need to move in a new artistic direction, as we are out of M&Ms, all photos look as if children are chewing tobacco, and new Christmas pj's are covered in chocolate.
Step 6: Have a few swigs of stiff drink.
Step 7: Change children's outfits. Take another 150 pictures. Curse camera because you are trying fancy new settings on it which you haven't taken any time to read up on or understand and it's taking crappy pictures while your children are actually cooperating and looking angelic.
Step 8: Chug drink.
Step 9: Move photo shoot outside, despite frigid temperatures, as children are done behaving nicely inside. Return camera to automatic settings. Swear at your daughter to "Stop putting shit (leaves) in your brother's hair!" just as the new neighbors walk outside.
Step 10: Curse fact that you've left drink inside and can't leave children unattended in front yard in freezing weather. Move children to different location outside. Resort to shooting whatever you can in hopes for the best. Decide this probably isn't going to be the top choice for Christmas card:
Step 11: Give up and hope that you got something good. Release children and try not to think about all the fodder you've just given them for therapy down the road. Finish drink and pour another. Or just resort to a couple of tequila shots.
Step 12: Upload 277 photos. Delete 266 photos. Choose 3 that are acceptable for Christmas card. Call professional photographer and book session for next fall.
And there you have it! A warm and fuzzy holiday greeting in 12 steps! And one that is likely to lead me to another 12 step program if I don't delegate or let my standards slide next year!
One of these years I'm just going to send a card with a collage of the worst pictures I've taken of the kids together.
But all in all, it's (almost) worth it when I see this:
Happy Holidays friends!