When creating the annual holiday card, I find it helpful to lower your expectations. And your standards.
I don't care a whit if all the children are smiling. Or even looking the same direction. I claim victory if they're all in the same frame.
Growing up, my parents never made a family Christmas card. We didn't even do the annual snap on Santa's lap though I recall at least one photo of my friend and I with the big guy. He's pulling up my dress and exposing my white bloomers. The creep.
When I made our first card three years ago, I didn't plan for it to become a yearly tradition. But it provides such hilarity I think it would be a shame to stop.
Here's Esme proudly presenting her twin brother and sister to the world. "Ta da!" They're about 10 weeks old.
Josephine is the one screaming and throwing elbows. She spent 10 months jammed next to Desmond in my belly so she'd rather be anywhere than squished next to her brother in this papasan chair.
That Josephine would prefer NOT to be forced to pose on the porch would become a recurring fact of our holiday photos. We just didn't know it then.
She walked out of nearly every photo I took the following year. She's walking in this one too. But I got her walking toward me so we could at least see her face.
She looks the most relaxed in this card.
Cute? Right? I got this one within the first three minutes of getting to the porch and it's a good thing. Seconds after this darling pic was snapped, Josephine fell into a wild tantrum of insanity that ended only after a three hour nap and an exorcism.
It struck me last year, when we rounded up the group and headed back into the warmth of the house to wait out Josephine's storm, that the behind-the-scenes production of the card may be more entertaining than the card itself.
So, we're going to film the making of Holiday Card 2009 which is scheduled for tomorrow. And share it with you. The prospect of which is so much more than wildly embarrassing, it's... it's... . Well, I don't know. What's more than that? Mortifying?
A quick tangent should help explain why:
Kent and I have always wanted to race around the world in the reality television program, "The Amazing Race." The one thing that stops us though: I couldn't bear millions of people seeing me FREAK OUT on air from the stress of the harried travel, competition and challenges.
We'd be barreling down a dirt road in India, nearly out of gas and lost and I'd be screaming at Kent to FIGURE. OUT. WHERE. THE HELL. WE. ARE.
I'm like that a little with the Christmas card despite my lowered expectations.
"Just get them to stand there."
"Make them look this way."
"Move the tree. It doesn't look right."
So, you'll likely see giggling and merriment, tears and possibly tantrums, threats and rebukes, orders and other threats, and two increasingly frustrated adults trying to get four wild kids to say "Cheese."