As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more holiday greeting cards! This time of year I love being the first person to our mailbox (okay, who am I kidding? I’m the only one that actually ever checks the mailbox) to find, sprinkled amongst the bills and advertisements, beautiful, colorful envelopes. They are carefully addressed by hand in tones of metallic gold, green and red. It’s like opening a present; carefully folding back the paper to reveal what’s inside. It’s such a treat to see all of the great holiday pictures showcasing long lost pals, neighbors, our closest of friends and family.
The holiday greeting card has always been one of my favorite traditions. I place our cards in a basket on our Kitchen Island. Everyone enjoys flipping through the cards and admiring the pictures. In fact, I save our cards each year in a big Zip-loc baggie. We love to reminisce about how much all the kids we know have changed over the years.
The toughest part about the whole holiday card process is trying to perfectly capture that moment in time. I truly admire those organized souls that dress the family up in the middle of the summer and snap that perfect shot. You know the ones; everyone is color coordinated on a beach somewhere, their faces sun kissed, heads thrown back in happiness and laughter. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to have a family event, such as a wedding, where everyone is dressed up and on their very best behavior (at least while the night is young). I was that lucky once; I had a great picture of Nick and Amanda when they were attendants in Mary Poppins’ wedding. It made for a lovely Christmas card.
More often than not, however, we are frazzled as we set aside time to take our Christmas picture. Some years, we scheduled a professional photographer to have a portrait taken. When the kids were little it was so much simpler. I would take such care in finding the most lovely coordinating brother-sister outfits. The kids were such good sports as I dressed them up in velvet and corduroy and tartan plaid. They always looked like they stepped out of the pages of a magazine.
Some of my favorite pictures though are those that I quick snapped here in an afternoon. You know those moments, when you look at the clock and you completely under estimate the amount of time (and patience) that you have, but you make your kids get dressed up anyway and you give it a try. I think the candid shots work out the best, when they get to be themselves. A few times I’ve shot a roll of film (back in the olden days before the invention of the digital camera) in black and white. There is something really special about that timeless quality of black and white film. Without the distraction of all of that color, their true essence shines through. One of the best shots I’ve ever taken was in our front yard, eight years ago. Amanda is standing in front of Nick and he has his arms around her. His cheek is gently resting on her head. They are so innocent and sweet. I love having captured that moment.
Two weeks ago, on our last warm day, I gave my pals a 30 minute warning. This is it; jump in the shower, brush your hair and hightail onto the front porch. I had this great idea. Nick should wear his black and red spirit-wear from the Be All and End All Academy and Amanda should be sporting blue and white spirit-wear from Saint Feels Right for Her; dueling school pride. Wrigley would be Switzerland wearing both a red and a blue bandana around his considerable neck.
It’s hard enough to get the kids to cooperate, much less Wrigley. He’s really not very good. He’s laying down, he’s standing up, he’s looking at imaginary squirrels, he looks like he’s posing for a mug shot and all he really wants is that treat he’s been promised.
This year I think we might have to photo-chop him in!
More frantic afternoons, more silly shots, more capturing special moments in time…..