Dreading the Evil Christmas Card Photo

I went cold-turkey for a while.

I just couldn’t take the pressure.  I didn’t want to play the suburban game of my kids are cuter than your kids.  I didn’t want the pressure of feeling inadequate as a single mom.  So I just said “to heck with it” and stopped taking the dreaded picture altogether.

What dreaded picture you ask? 

Oh right…I’m referring to the DREADED Christmas card picture!

The one that gives a mommy shingles just thinking about it.

Now that I am married and added another munchkin into the mix it seems like the card thing is necessary again.  Our extended family wants to see images of the kids and it’s expected that I make the effort.

The truth is, I shudder with anxiety just thinking about trying to get my family to match

My son wants to spike his hair up in a faux-hawk and look edgy, my tween girl wants to wear lip gloss and roll her shorts, and all my two-year old wants to wear is her lion costume.


When I try to get some love from daddy he’s already ticked because I booked the picture on Sunday afternoon (his only day off) and he is missing his favorite Seahawks game. 

Everyone is grumpy when I bark out orders and turn into Scrooge Mom for the perfect picture.

Look happy or mommy will have a MELTDOWN!

Seriously, Pinterest has screwed us all when it comes to photos, parties and crafts.  No one just schleps anything together anymore.  Every kid’s party is a cutout tribute to graphic design.  Every sepia card and Martha Stewart wannabe has upped the stakes. 

I just can’t engage in this virtual game of crafty awesomeness anymore.

For crying out loud, I’m still six months out on my thank you notes.

Man I miss the easy days of ice-cream and cake and Polaroid’s.  A few balloons, a dash of streamers and we were rocking.  I bought my pre-made Christmas cards at Target and threw in a few school pics. 

But then the game changed and everyone’s cards got really cool.  My pride prickled at my measly offering.  So I bought the Pinterest lie to be more creative than I really am.

So how do I wrangle my family to look joyful, be hip and cool and wow my friends?

I think I don’t. 

I think I might let my family wear whatever they want to. 

I’ll just let them be themselves and maybe their smiles will be genuine instead of fake like some poster child for Stepford-ville.  

Maybe we won’t match. 

Maybe one of us will be a LION.

Rebellious?  Possibly…

Then again, Kolby was the only lion this year for Halloween in a sea of princesses.  Maybe she gets it from me.



  1. I feel you on this one! Pinterest has made things so much harder in a way. I was just offered a free photo shoot ($350 value) for our Christmas card pictures, and I said NO for all the same reasons. We’ll have to stick with one of our spontaneous family photos from earlier this year, and people will just have to deal with it 🙂

  2. I love that your daughter was a lion in a sea of princesses! Good for her! And as for photo-perfection, it’s insane. Don’t compare yourself, just be yourself! My favorite, all-time photo was from a friend whos kids were tired, not looking at the camera, and grumpy. It was awesome. the last two years I’ve gone with the imiperfect look. Made life a lot easier. If your friends want to see your family, let them see the real family, not a perfect, pretend family!!! 🙂

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