Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just Smile

The holiday season, it is upon us. I am a holiday enthusiast. I love almost any excuse to celebrate with family and friends. Good wine, great food, lots of love and traditions galore. These next few weeks will be inspiring some awesome blog posts. I look forward to sharing our family’s memories with you.

With one exception-the holiday card ritual. Yes, you know the one. The premise is that you snap an absolutely stunning picture of your adorable children. They are all dressed to the nines. They look perfect. It will be the one symbol that represents your family to those friends and relatives far and wide. For some of the people that receive these, it is their only glance of your family until next year’s card. It is also a source of great stress for me. It is the one thing about the holidays that I despise. Yes, despise.

First of all, the outfits need to be purchased well in advance so that the picture can be taken early enough to be printed for the cards. Finding the holiday clothing in early November usually creeps up on me. I am not ready to be looking for it as early as I should be.

Then, getting all three children dressed, looking presentable and in good moods for the photo is challenging at best. My son has an aversion to any type of shirt that is not a t-shirt or sports jersey. Button down collars are his nemesis. My three year old is going through sensory overload when it comes to dressing lately. Tights? Just not worth it. Thank God for A. She is the easiest child on the planet.

Sometimes, the first shoot does not produce a good photo. We have to retake. Redo the process. Torture the children and us again.

Finally, we’ll get a photo we like and order the cards. Hopefully with enough turn around time left for the arduous process of addressing them all. Yes, we still do it by hand. I don’t know why. I just think it’s more personal. Also, every year, I mean to enter our address book into the computer and I don’t have time around the holidays for such a project. Then, the only time it comes up again is the next holiday season. I just don’t have the type of brain that thinks of such things in June.

We typically send out around 125 cards. There is a business list included in this for my husband's work associates. Each year, I start asking him before Thanksgiving to gather and bring home the addresses from work. There is a reason they say that women are the gatherers. This task is too much for poor T. It inevitably results in an argument between us around holiday time, isn’t that awful? Over cards.

The day I drop these things into the mailbox, I feel as if a large weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I am not kidding. I feel free. Free to go on with my holidays. Free to enjoy our more pleasant traditions. This year, I’ve decided to fully enjoy all aspects of the holidays and to try and eliminate any sources of stress. (Stop laughing, I’m serious.) So, I cut out shopping for the outfits. I am going for simple. I am going to take the picture myself at our house. Ease up on the idea of perfect. This is not something that I do well. T has agreed to help address them provided I don’t critique his adolescent handwriting. We’ll see if I can manage that. I still haven’t brought up the work addresses to him. Peace on earth after all…


  1. I do e-slideshows now and it's such a relief...and saves tons of money. Go you to do 125---that's crazy!!

  2. ARGH! The Holiday Card! I hate the Holiday Card! And now I'm stressing because I'm not even close to getting those suckers done!

  3. OH GOD, the holiday card. It's the same for me, too. Last year I couldn't get a good pic of the kids so I just used a bunch of candids (they weren't even looking at the camera) and called it a day. After all, what you see is what you get!

  4. I love holiday cards, but YES! it is a big pain in the @ss. :-)