Christmas cards appear to be much more important when you have children. You finally have something personal you can splash on the front of the card. I mean, when you don’t have kids, you can’t put a picture of you and your wife/girlfriend on a card, because that’s tacky, although one year (pre-kids) I did tell Stephanie that we ought to dress up in Chrismassy clothes like red and green one-piece sleeper pajamas, sit in front of the fireplace and pose as young babies one year for cards. I pictured myself with one of those huge candy canes and a big, stupid smile on my face, seated next to Steph. It would have made an AWESOME card. As you might imagine, it got voted down. Rightly so, I suppose.

Another example: I thought we were the only ones who had to – literally – take 4,234 pictures before we found one for the Christmas card that worked. I came to find out at a party this weekend that many other parents share this same process. You just keep taking pictures until you get one that is even remotely acceptable. I’d love to show everybody the thousands of pictures that we took, so you can see the proof. In most of them, the following scenarios are occurring:

  • The picture comes out with one kid sitting there with a beautiful smile on his face, while the other one is only 30% in the picture, has one arm and one leg up in the air – and a look of utter panic on his face.
  • They are both sitting there calmly, the only problem being that a) one of them has a stream of snot coming out of his nose that wasn’t there 2 seconds ago when you were setting them up and b) the other one sees the snot and goes exploring into his own nose for the same.
  • For some reason, on shot #3,421 you finally get a good pose, but the kids are blurry and the background is crystal clear. Yay!
  • Both kids look pissed off.
  • Both kids have their eyes closed.
  • Both kids are looking in different directions.

So how did we get one that worked? Well, we put them on the couch and I had to stand off the side and – as hard as I could – bounce them up and down by beating on the couch cushion. They were looking right at me, smiling, while Steph snapped away. It worked! So if you get a card from us, you can clearly see they are not looking at the camera. They are looking at their dad, laughing at him and trying to figure out why the doofus is making stupid noises and pounding on the couch cushion. There you have it!

An extra holiday shout-out to the folks at Tiny Prints, whose Christmas cards look awfully nice, but they can’t really figure out how to operate the rest of the business. We ordered our cards and red envelopes the last week of November. We finally got them late last week. With no envolopes. Poor Steph calls on Friday and they tell her we will DEFINITELY have them on Saturday, overnighted. No envelopes come Saturday. Or Monday. Call on Monday. We’ll DEFINITELY have them on Tuesday. Here they are! Only half are red, though. The other half are silver. What? Not a huge deal, but it’s still not what we ordered. Call back, we’re told we’ll DEFINITELY have the rest of our red envelopes by Thursday, December 18th. For an order we placed the last week of November. Wheeee!