Sunday, December 19, 2010

Special Delivery... for YOU!

In our efforts to have a simpler kind of Christmas this year, we decided early on not to send out Christmas cards this year. It seemed like an easy enough piece to let go of, and yet it has not been as easy as I imagined....

For starters, a few friends have expressed disappointment that we're not sending out a card. Last year's manger scene was tough to beat....did we even want to attempt to top it?.... and the popularity of Facebook makes me feel like everyone's seen it all, already - so why should I send out a card? But part of what I loved about our card last year was the fun we had in taking the picture, and if I buy my own excuse about Facebook, I'm feeding the Technology Beast that threatens other time-honored and lovely traditions (like reading Actual Books.)

There are two cards in particular we look forward to receiving each year. The first one is That Christmas Letter - you know the one I mean. Every family gets one - the one from the extended relative whose letter is just.... ridiculous. Maybe it's over-the-top full of accomplishments; maybe it's paragraph after paragraph of oh-woe-is-me; maybe it's so riddled with spelling and grammatical errors you can barely resist pulling out your red pen as you read it. You get one like that too, right? We always have a good laugh when that letter arrives, albeit at the expense of dear family we truly love. But still - the comic relief is usually quite timely amidst the chaos that precedes Christmas. So __________ Family, we thank you for the laughter your card brings and the joy we feel in receiving it!

The other Christmas card we await with great anticipation is that from our college friends, D and J (the "Funtimes" family, I'll call them). I met D the day I moved in; her dorm room was across from mine. 13 years later, we're both moms to big broods of boys - she has a boy Leo's age and twins just a few months younger than Pax. The first Funtimes Christmas card was when they were still childless but newly married - it was a photo card with J. Funtimes dressed in drag as Britney Spears. His outfit was Britney a la "Baby One More Time" but his physique was more
"Britney's Nervous Breakdown." The next year featured a close-up photo of their positive
pregnancy test; the year after that, a photo re-enactment of the delivery of their firstborn son. (Regrettably, I realize I should have archived each year, for subsequent years get kind of foggy.) And so it was with great anticipation that we awaited the arrival of the 2010 Funtimes Christmas Card - and this year did not disappoint! In essence, this year's photo might just top out the "Got Milk?" campaign, as it features all of the male family members sporting the infamous milk moustache with the implication that the milk THEY all prefer doesn't come from a COW..... but rather from the hot mama in the superhero cape framing the shot.

Oh the fun they must have, scheming up the photo, taking the shot, then mailing it out to all of their beloved friends and family, knowing the laughter that would ensue! I was missing our family photo once more....

And so I settled on a compromise of sorts, at least for this year. We staged several photo shoots on two different days, and got a couple of decent pics:

I love this first shot for several reasons. Leo is ready for summer; Pax is ready for Santa; Jeff is sportin' stripes and snowmen; and Aidan is a vision in teal and red. I also love it because it precedes one of my favorite December traditions of ours: a picnic dinner in front of the Christmas tree.

These next two are "outtakes" from what was our second fun photo shoot. I love how Pax is hanging upside down in the first one, and in the second one, how Leo is peeking around with mischief in his eye.....

..And finally, my favorite family Christmas picture this year (so far.) Envision this photo arriving in your mailbox with the lovely quote calligraphied at the bottom, each card painstakingly hand-made with card stock, letter presses, and glue dots. (Hey, if I'm going to go virtual, I might as well go all out, right?)

"The best of all gifts around a Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other." -Burton Hillis

Merry Christmas to you!
Love, Anne et al.


Funtimes Family, via Anne said...

From the Funtimes Family:

"I have to say that you have forgotten the two BEST cards. The one with Johnnie and Jonah sitting on the toilet reading Everyone Poops where I had to photoshop out Johnnie's junk. And last year, the super pregnant momma in a mini skirt, hooker boots, and a belly shirt smoking a cigarette next to her husband in a similar belly shirt and shorts shorter than my mini skirt. It gets tougher each year, but we try not to disappoint :)"

gthiele said...

Thanks Carters....this is a great Christmas greeting!!