Christmas Cards 2013

If you’ve read my Making of a Christmas Card 2012, then you know how much work fun it is for our family to make the annual family pic/Christmas card.  You didn’t read it?  You can do so here!  And we normally have our photo shoot on the weekend after Thanksgiving so that I can send our cards out on December 1.

Well, that didn’t happen.  This is how things went down with Christmas Cards 2013:

Me (to daughter #1 a few days before Thanksgiving):  “We’re having our pics made Saturday for our annual Christmas card.”

Daughter #1:   “Not this year.  I’m just not doing it this year.  Just do y’all (yes, we’re southern) and the grands.”

Me:  “But this is the only time I get a pic of the entire family and didn’t you say the same thing last year?  I could have just hit rewind!”

Daughter #1:  “Sorry.  I’m just not being in it.  You always choose the one that I look crazy in.  Really, just do everyone except us (she and her hubby).”  Really!  People would think we’ve disinherited them!

Me (with fingers and toes crossed so it’s not technically a lie):  “I’ll let you pick this year’s picture out.”

Daughter #1:  “Um, no!”

Me (trying the “make her feel guilty” route):  “I guess I’ll just have to use one from last year.  Except that the youngest grand kid was a baby and now he’s not.  People will think his growth was stunted.  Family members will start calling each other saying, “There’s something seriously wrong with that last grandchild.”

Daughter #2 – the agreeable daughter – says, “It doesn’t matter to me.  We will do whatever you want.  If you want all of us, that’s fine.  If you just want the grands, that’s fine.”   Aren’t those the words that every mother wants to hear?

Son #2 (texting me):  “Can’t wait to get home for Thanksgiving break.  What color scheme are we using for this year’s card (color scheme?  Love. It.)?”  Son #1 is about as interested in the whole affair as the sons-in-law and the hubs.

Me:  “We’re not doing cards this year.”

Son #2:  “WHAT???????  What do you mean?”  (Note to all of you who use all caps when sending me a message on Facebook:  All caps mean that you are yelling at me.  I know you don’t know that.  I hope and pray you don’t know that.  Please stop yelling at me.)  🙂

Me (with my best dejected texting voice):  “Daughter #1 doesn’t want to take them.  I guess there won’t be any Christmas cards in Whoville this year.”

Son #2 – “What’s a Whoville?”  Some people just don’t get my attempts at humor.

Then son #2 arrives home from college and talks to daughter #3 and they get in cahoots and vow to break daughter #1 down on Thanksgiving Day.  It makes me wonder if they will be bringing a torture kit with them!  I’m excited!  Can daughter #1 still play the piano and guitar with one or two less fingers?  I need to Google that!

I admit, it’s hard to get 13 people together for a picture and for all 13 to look good.  But, hey, it’s just one measly day out of the year.  And, technically, since they are MY cards, I’m the only one that has to look good.  Right?

Good grief!  Did I raise a bunch of wusses?  Daughter #3 and son #2 failed miserably at getting daughter #1 to relent.  I guess they forgot the torture kit after all.  They must not watch the same TV show that I watch!  If you want something done right . . .

So I hatched up a plan.  I conspired with photographer daughter #3 to set up her tripod just as we sat down for Thanksgiving Dinner.  I told everyone to smile as she raced back to her seat and hit the remote.  Click.  Click.  Click.

Except when I anxiously uploaded the pics, they looked like Thanksgiving pictures!  I mean, hello, the entire table was screaming Thanksgiving Day at the top of it’s lungs!

So, it was a bust.  And daughter #1 won.  Are we really keeping score?  Yes!

My ever helpful husband suggested I go to the store and buy Christmas cards and just send them out.  I tried my best to work up a tear or two as I spoke in a sad, sad voice, “I’ve sent picture cards every Christmas since the kids were babies.  Our friends and family expect them.  Our church family expects them.  No store bought cards for me.  I guess, sob, slobber, swallow loudly, that we just won’t send out cards this year.”  Boo.  Hoo.

He wasn’t fooled one bit by me trying to work up a little sympathy.  Men just don’t get it.  Everything’s always so simple to them.  No cards.  No drama.  No big deal.

In the end, only mere days away from Christmas day, we finally had our Christmas pic done with the grands.  It was magical! Pixie dust floated in the air.  Woodland fairies spirited about.  The animals from the forest all gathered round to watch.  OK, that part was in my mind, but there was no drama.  The grands didn’t care which pic I choose for our Christmas cards.  They actually posed better than my grown children.  I mean, they were like little models just strutting their stuff.  It was quick.  It was easy.  It was painless.  Forget the children.  There’s some new kids in town!  The grands have it going on!  Who needs drama?christmaspic2013



This is a little different from my usual Faithful Friday post, but today I’m thanking God for my wonderful family, even when I don’t get my own way!


About Alli

Southern, Morning Person, Jesus Girl, Frugal Party Planner, Writer/Blogger, Mom, Nana, Wife, Beach Bum Wannabe - Let's Have a Party!


  1. Hi Alli! Congrats on your SITS Day and that card is adorable! We had the same issue with cards, but I’m still thinking I’d like to a least get a photo of our three kids…we’ll see what happens.

    Also, Merry Christmas to your beautiful family! 🙂

  2. Congrats on your SITS Day! Your Christmas card came out adorable.

  3. What an ADORABLE final set of pictures! Y’all win the Christmas cards this year! 🙂 Hope you have a very happy SITS day!

  4. I love your Christmas card! My kids are teenagers and they moan and groan about the Christmas picture. Every year it’s an ordeal and now I don’t have a card. This is my first year of not sending out a picture card in 16 years. I am kind of grumpy about it. Congrats on your SITS Day! Hope it’s wonderful!!

  5. Beautiful Christmas card and grand kids. Congrats on your SITS day.

  6. Ya’ll (kicking up my Southern drawl from upstate NY) are such a funny family! This post had me laughing out loud and my boyfriend asking what I was laughing at! Glad you finally got half a photo taken.

    Stopping by from SITs
    Amanda Rose

    • My son-in-law (married to daughter #1) is from upstate New York! Glad someone gets my weird sense of humor! This year’s photo was a sequel to the one we took last year. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Oh gosh, how I can really relate to this, except I don’t have an excuse of too many people, it’s just the three of us (me, hubby, and son), and we still haven’t done the annual picture. I always have this lofty goal of designing a fancy card, except every year, comes Christmas eve I’m still scrambling to take a decent pic. It does eventually make it through cyberspace and to everyone’s inbox as an e-card. I know it’s not personal, but better something than nothing?

    • If you’re like me, you get to the point of “just get something out there.” I think the e-card is awesome. Maybe I should go that route next year.

      I have an artist friend that actually paints a card and sends it to me every year. It is always so beautiful and I save them all to frame. Talking about feeling inadequate the day that card arrives . . . . 🙂

  8. Melinda Snavley says

    I’m still laughing so hard cause I can see all of you around the table talking about the Christmas cards. Haha love the pics!!! Can’t wait to have grandkids so I can do that. 🙂

  9. Congratulations on your SITS day. I hope it’s a wonderful day for you.

    You have beautiful grandchildren. And those photos are adorable. My kids are 15 to 23, so I’m hoping grandchildren aren’t too far off. Even though it was under duress, I am glad you honored your daughter’s feelings. As an adult daughter of very manipulative parents, I admit I was pulling for her throughout the story. Hoping she’d stick to her guns and honor her own feelings. I’m glad there was a compromise that made everyone happy — or at least made you happy.

  10. I love the pictures and your grands are ADORABLE.

  11. The card is great! I relate well to the Christmas card photo shoots–my most recent post is about how I veered away from the photo cards over the years. This year I finally made one again. (But I cheated and used pictures from the year.) Happy SITS day to you!!

    • Thanks, Pam! I’m thinking that next summer while we are all on our annual family beach trip, I could get someone to snap a pic of us all and just use that one for next year’s card. 🙂

  12. Happy SITS Day and Happy Holidays! I hope you enjoy your day in the limelight! 🙂

    I will say this: LOVE the pictures!!! So cute! I HATE pictures of myself, too, BUT will do them for family…kicking and screaming, but I will do it. I can’t break my parents’ hearts by not doing it. I would love one of just them and the kiddos, though. That would be great! The next time my brother and his family are home from Africa (they are missionaries there) and my sister and her family are up, I am so going to suggest a grandparents with the grandkids pictures! I know we’ll have to do the whole family one, too, but it’s only every 4 or 5 years…I’ll survive. 😉

  13. I think you made the perfect choice by posing with just the grands. It’s all about them now anyway, right? Have a wonderful and merry Christmas. Have a blessed day. Enjoy your SITS day.

  14. Sherree Phillips says

    Love the pictures. Your grand kids are beautiful. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  15. Love your pictures, and the story made me smile :). It sounds like you have a beautiful family in and out.

  16. HaHa – this made me laugh especially when I clicked on the link to last year’s and the story line was so similar!!!
    Super cute pictures of y’all and the grands!!
    And – I LOVE your boots!!

    • Thanks, Kim! About the boots – they are a Christmas present from my husband. I talked him into letting me have them early. 🙂 At least I have some sway over one member of the family. 🙂

  17. Well, they turned out very nice even if the kids weren’t in it. As a photographer, you just have to do your own!!! You are so great at it… The grands are adorable 🙂 ~Renee

  18. I hope that you enjoy your SITS Day.

    Great family photos!

  19. I must say, this is hilarious, lol. It sounds like a conversation I would have with my mom (we have her only two grandchildren). In fact, I just got the old “your-grandmother-may-not-be-here-next-year” guilt trip. You guys really gotta stop that guilt stuff!! Anywho, visiting from SITS today and love your blog!

    • You really made my laugh out loud! I can remember getting the “your grandmother may not be here next year” guilt trip, too. I guess I inherited the make um feel guilty gene. Just doesn’t work on my bunch. Have a very Merry Christmas!

  20. Love, love, love the story! You could have always cut the faces out of the Thanksgiving photo and hung them as ornaments on a Christmas tree for a card… LOL Your picture with the grands turned out amazing. What a cute bunch of kids! Have a Merry Christmas! 🙂

    Life With Lorelai

  21. I love your pictures of you all and the grands. Those are great! You did better than me at getting some sort of picture. I had pictures scheduled for just our family of 4 and that did not happen at the last minute – tantrums all around for the kids and me. ha ha. I used pictures from vacation this year of just the kids. Happy SITS Day!

    • I thought about using a vacation picture, but couldn’t find one with all of us in it. Picture taking brings out the beast in all of us, I guess. 🙂

  22. Aw, these are great pics! Trust me, I’ve heard it all when it comes to why people don’t want photos LOL Better luck next year! (But these turned out really good!)

  23. This post made me smile and your pics are gorgeous, Alli ! Love your storytelling – it always has so much I can relate to!
    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Have a blessed Christmas and New Year.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  24. I can actually see the pixie dust in these pictures (you just have to look really hard) They are lovely and you all look great (bar humbug to those not in it!!!) Family and holidays- you got ta love em!

  25. I LOVE your Christmas pictures; your grand babies are beautiful! Now everyone can ohhh and ahh over them, and you and your hubby will get the credit since your kids weren’t in the pic! Score for you! 😉

    I found you through SITS and I’m so glad I did! Have a blessed day and a Merry Christmas!

  26. Card is adorable!! It turned out great!!

  27. Found you on SITS. Loved this post! Great story! I felt really bad for you over your daughter’s refusal, but you did still get a beautiful card!

  28. OMG, CUTEST CARD EVER!!! Also, you and the hubs look way too young to be grandparents 🙂 This is adorable.

  29. Laughing tears! I’ve given up the family portrait. We usually make ours at Easter but this year great grand got bit by a dog ( he’s fine) so he and his dad weren’t there. Then we couldn’t try again at Thanksgiving because grown up grand is in Afghanistan and my camera battery died. Maybe next year.

    • Now that’s a thought. Maybe we should make ours at Easter! Or maybe start trying to get them made at Easter and by Thanksgiving, it would be done.

  30. What a great post! Why is the family picture so hard? I ask myself that every year. lol It seems like a simple task…and yet, someone always ends up crying.

  31. The kids get it from their mama! Jk lol The pics did turn out great but I’m sorry it wasn’t what you wanted. I say next year we just hold sister #1 down. Lol

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