Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday Sentiments

I've become one of them.

I gave in and hung my Christmas lights on Sunday, not completely because I couldn't resist grabbing the holidays by the neck and giving them a great big hug, but because the weather was so unseasonably warm and sunny, and I didn't want to be up on a ladder with a 15 degree windchill at the end of November.  That would really bust my buffers.

I'm doing my best to resist turning them on each night, since my goal is to wait until the day after Thanksgiving before going into full-on "elf" mode.  So I put my mind toward other, less noticeable holiday efforts.

I knew that I would want to design our Christmas cards from scratch as I did last year.  I always enjoy design projects, and there was something extra motivating about not only taking the photo, but cropping it, editing out ketchup or chocolate on faces, hands and shirts, and creating a design that would bring a smile and a bit of the holiday spirit to our loved ones.

Christmas card 2010

You know, because not everyone gets their holiday spirit from Polar Express.

With enthusiasm, I grabbed my camera and taped up an old red shower curtain with some masking tape for our backdrop while Graham was very quickly on the scene to thwart my efforts.  He immediately sat on the curtain, pulled it off the wall and laughed.


"Biiiiig TOOT!"

I should have taken this as a warning that the experience was gonna stink.

I put both boys down on the repositioned backdrop, and they almost immediately began fighting.

"Graham is sitting on my leg!"
"I don't want to take pictures!"
"But Mommy, it's not Christmas yet!"

I tried everything.  I wrapped them with Christmas lights.  I fed them cookies.  I put a Santa hat on Graham's head and a bow in Cael's hair, but it was futile.  As I snapped away, I knew that the 700+ photos I clicked at lightning speed were useless-- whether it be bad positioning, lighting, or just behavior, this photo shoot was a bust.

I asked the boys, pitifully, if they would let me take just a few more, but the screams yelled in return told me it simply wasn't worth the effort.

But how could I make a Christmas card with such pathetic photographs?  What would I send to my family and friends?

I wasn't sure that was the way to go.  I tried again.

That one was no good, either.  Despite Cael's behavior, I wanted him on the card if for no other reason than to make sure everyone knew we'd kept him alive for another year.

No?  Surely the next would be better.  Everyone likes a little wisdom with their holiday sentiments, right?

Perhaps not.

Resigned to the fact that our card might just be a little irreverent this season, I returned to the computer to look for some alternative images.  But before I could, a couple of photos from Christmas 2010 caught my eye and reminded me of two of the reasons I love this time of year so very much.

Photobucket Photobucket

So I gave it one more try, and came up with two designs that I love.

They may not be perfect, and they might be similar to the card I made last year, but I hope that when someone opens one of these cards, they feel the love I have for my kids and the love they have for one another.

But if not, there's always New Year's...


  1. I love the 2nd to last one :-)

    I couple years ago when I was pregnant with Raya we took pictures with our dogs and it was such a nightmare. I ended up putting some pictures on a card and said something like "We wanted to send you the *perfect* family photo this Christmas--Oh well, there's always next year!" :-)

    Shawna www.nopaparazziplease.blogspot.com

  2. I.JUST.LAUGHED.SOOOOO.VERY.HARD! Amazing, Mary. Good work!

  3. hahaha, I was cracking up reading this. love it! I love the ones you picked out. :) So cute.

  4. Wonderful story and pictures, Mary! Thanks, and Merry Christmas to you!

  5. Shawna- That's exactly where we were headed! I was lucky to have these few shots to work with... out of 723!

  6. Robyn- Glad you liked it! I think the New Year's card is my fav!

  7. Amanda- Thanks so much! I like the two (real) ones very much. But maybe I'll get some magical shot that's even better than these!

  8. Linda- Thank you! Merry Christmas to you too!

  9. LOL "Bribery" and "The other one is getting coal" are definitely my favorites!! Too cute!

  10. Natasha- Thanks! I had a good time with those! (There were so many to choose from, after all...)


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.