I really did have high hopes to role out another glowing card with well coiffed hair and dreamy colors, you know, like last year (which, even though the year was rough, the card was perfection… also huge… James is still ashamed). Or maybe at least one with cute outfits and chalkboard glory, like 2013.
But that just didn’t happen.
I just got totally burnt out on photos, totally tired of planning, and by the time I had finished everyone else’s Christmas card photos, I had zero energy left for my own. And so the rationalizing and downsizing began.
First, we were just going to have some friends snap a cute photo of us… but that seemed like so much work. Picking a time, picking clothes, doing hair, making sure there was daylight — not happening.
Then we were going to go find a cool old fashioned photo booth, take some pics, and do some sort of hipster Christmas perfection…. but that quickly became complicated. Finding a booth that actually still did old school photo strips in DC, finding a time when we could trek out there — not happening.
So at last, at 11:30 on a Wednesday night a couple weeks ago, I broke down in tears and declared that WE HAD TO DO IT NOW OR IT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN AND IF IT DID NOT HAPPEN THEN CHRISTMAS WOULDN’T EVEN COME AT ALL. Or something like that. It had to happen AT THAT EXACT MOMENT or it never would. Also there were residual Black Friday sales I wanted to hit online that would expire the next day, and I am nothing if not super cheap with Christmas cards.
And so, at 11:30 on a Wednesday night, I downloaded an app that simulates a photo booth, and we did our Christmas card photos. In our hallway. With only the front two locks of hair on my head curled. Don’t ask if James was wearing real pants. And things went downhill quickly, as can be seen from those strips at the top that didn’t make ye old Yuletide greeting card. Why are we wearing hats INSIDE… IN OUR OWN HOUSE? And why is there a metal MOOSE in my hand at one point? And why DIDN’T we use the picture that shows reality, meaning James being distracted by his workphone???
If the pictures were a hot mess, the card itself might be even more so. We are old school, and insist on a full letter, so after a really bland front side with our crazy mugs, we cranked out the type of honest letter that only happens when you write it at midnight. Maybe there is an entire paragraph about our toilet.
Thus, our card is perfect, because it betrays the great truth of not just this year, but every year: life is just not perfect at all. It is a beautiful mess constantly on the verge of spinning out of control. But we are doing it together, and every Christmas we remember that baby who brought something truly perfect to our disastrous existence.
Here’s to outtakes that show more truth than the final shot.