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Christmas Card Conundrum

December 17th, 2012, posted by Aimee

Wells Family Christmas Card 2012

Just about every year around this time, I face the same ridiculous conundrum: How to find at least one slightly less than hideous photograph of the entire family to use for our annual holiday card. You’d think after all these years, I might start planning ahead and stage one of those professional looking photo shoots where everyone’s wearing a matching white shirt and frolicking in the sand or among the fall leaves. Or perhaps – like many of my friends – I could throw in the towel and just use a close-up of the much-cuter-than-his parents offspring.

But nope, I never do any of those things. I mean, for one thing, the kids-only holiday card always bugs me a little. It’s a bit like the women who start using their baby’s photo as their Facebook headshot or only let other kids call them “so-and-so’s mommy” like they no longer have an identity apart from their child. And the staged photo shoot thing requires advance planning and a belief that a pro can somehow make my crows’ feet disappear, neither of which I have in any abundance as a cynical working mom.

So instead I procrastinate and then panic, as December arrives and the first early bird family’s card arrives in the box. This year was no different, although the search for a decent pic in which all three of us were in the same frame and smiling was even more futile than years’ past. Finally, I resorted to the two cheapest tricks of the trade to get this card out the door – photoshop and black-and-white, baby.

But that was only hurdle number-one. Next came picking the design. If it were up to me, that would be a snap. Tiny Prints or Minted have dozens right on the first page that suffice just fine for me. But when you’re married to a designer like me, you have to find just the perfect, unique and creative card unlike anyone else on the block … and you have to drag him away from his X-box to pick that damn design and finish the card before you can place the order.

Finally, said cards arrive and I realized that the mailing list I updated every year had disappeared with my crashed hard drive from earlier this fall. Time to email every friend and relative with a plea for their address in order to get the damn cards in the mail in time to arrive before Christmas.

Why is this whole process so stressful? Why don’t I ever learn and start planning ahead? Guess it’s just part of the holiday madness … and it gives me something to write about other than the sad topics in the news right now. Anyone else experience Christmas Card stress?

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