Christmas Cards 2013 Family Fun

by Alli

Christmas Cards 2013 – The trials and tribulations of getting the family together for a Christmas photo! 

If you’ve read my Making of a Christmas Card 2012, then you know how much work fun it is for our family to get on board and show up for the annual family pic/Christmas card. You didn’t read it?  You can do so here!  

We usually have our photoshoot on the weekend after Thanksgiving so that I can send our cards out on December 1.

Well, that didn’t happen this time around.  

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 grandkids.”

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!”

Going Down The “Make Her Feel Guilty” Route – Christmas Cards 2013

Me (trying the “make her feel guilty” route): “I guess I’ll just have to use one from last year. Except that the youngest grandkid 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 grandkids, 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.   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.

Last Ditch Effort To Save Christmas Cards 2013

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 fewer 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?

I Raised A Bunch Of Wusses

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.  

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 its lungs!

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

Store-Bought Christmas Cards? Are You For Real?

My ever-so-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. It’s no big deal.

The Grandkids Save Christmas Cards 2013

In the end, only mere days away from Christmas day, we finally had our Christmas pic done with the grandkids. 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 grandkids 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 and easy. It was painless.

Forget the children. There are some new kids in town! The grandkids 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!

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Suzanne @AndMyHouse December 20, 2013 - 6:28 am

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! 🙂

Alli December 20, 2013 - 12:59 pm

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Suzanne. Hope you get a photo of your kids, at least. Once they grow up . . . 🙂

Barbara December 20, 2013 - 6:46 am

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

Alli December 20, 2013 - 6:48 am

Thanks, Barbara! And thanks for taking the time to stop by.

thedoseofreality December 20, 2013 - 7:12 am

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

Alli December 20, 2013 - 1:00 pm

Thanks! So glad you stopped by from SITS. Merry Christmas!

Michelle December 20, 2013 - 8:15 am

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!!

Alli December 20, 2013 - 1:01 pm

I get grumpy, too. I can’t even use the excuse that mine are teens, any more. Thanks so much for visiting.

Bobbi December 20, 2013 - 8:28 am

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

Alli December 20, 2013 - 1:02 pm

Thanks, Bobbie! Merry Christmas!

amanda rose December 20, 2013 - 8:45 am

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

Alli December 20, 2013 - 12:53 pm

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.

Story Paige December 20, 2013 - 8:53 am

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?

Alli December 21, 2013 - 6:56 am

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 . . . . 🙂

Melinda Snavley December 20, 2013 - 9:03 am

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. 🙂

Alli December 20, 2013 - 12:44 pm

Daughter #1 is going down next year, Melinda! 🙂

misssrobin December 20, 2013 - 9:05 am

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.

Erica December 20, 2013 - 9:25 am

I love the pictures and your grands are ADORABLE.

Alli December 20, 2013 - 12:39 pm

Thanks, Erica! And thanks for stopping by.

Pam December 20, 2013 - 9:56 am

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!!

Alli December 20, 2013 - 12:32 pm

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. 🙂

Julie Moore December 20, 2013 - 10:50 am

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. 😉

Alli December 20, 2013 - 12:23 pm

I’m already scheming as to how to make it happen for next year. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by for a visit. I have so much respect for missionaries like your brother and his family. I know it’s a sacrifice for them, but I also realize how much they are blessed to be a blessing.

Julie Moore December 20, 2013 - 2:46 pm

I agree! 🙂 Good luck with next year…in advance! 🙂

Alli December 21, 2013 - 6:49 am

Thanks, Julie. I’m gonna need that good luck!

Vicki M Taylor December 20, 2013 - 11:18 am

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.

Alli December 20, 2013 - 12:20 pm

Thanks! You are so right – it’s all about the grands! Merry Christmas to you and yours and thanks for visiting.

Sherree Phillips December 20, 2013 - 11:46 am

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

Alli December 20, 2013 - 12:16 pm

Thanks, Sherree! Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!!

Anna @ Northern Homestead December 20, 2013 - 1:31 pm

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

Alli December 21, 2013 - 6:53 am

Thanks, Anna! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Kim December 20, 2013 - 2:27 pm

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!!

Alli December 21, 2013 - 6:51 am

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. 🙂

Renew Your Space December 20, 2013 - 3:05 pm

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

Alli December 21, 2013 - 6:48 am

Thanks, Renee! I do admit that it was a lot easier with just the 6 of us (instead of the 13). 🙂

Rachel Lavern December 20, 2013 - 3:32 pm

I hope that you enjoy your SITS Day.

Great family photos!

Alli December 21, 2013 - 6:47 am

Thanks, Rachel. I did enjoy my SITS day and I really appreciate all the sweet comments like yours.

Bonnie @ Love, Marriage and Sex December 20, 2013 - 4:48 pm

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!

Alli December 21, 2013 - 6:46 am

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!

Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai December 20, 2013 - 9:04 pm

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

Alli December 21, 2013 - 6:43 am

Thanks, Lorelai! You are too kind! Merry Christmas!

Alecia December 20, 2013 - 10:34 pm

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!

Alli December 21, 2013 - 6:43 am

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. 🙂

Kristen from The Road to Domestication December 20, 2013 - 11:49 pm

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!)

Alli December 21, 2013 - 6:41 am

Thanks, Kristen! I will get the entire family next year!

Mel Caldicott December 21, 2013 - 2:37 am

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

Alli December 21, 2013 - 6:41 am

Thanks, Mel! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

Julie December 21, 2013 - 7:29 am

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!

Alli December 21, 2013 - 4:19 pm

I knew that pixie dust was not just in my mind! Thanks!:)

Patty December 21, 2013 - 10:34 am

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!

Alli December 21, 2013 - 4:15 pm

Thanks, Patty, for the kind words. Isn’t SITS wonderful for featuring all the different bloggers?

Crystal December 21, 2013 - 3:07 pm

Card is adorable!! It turned out great!!

Alli December 21, 2013 - 4:13 pm

Thanks to the grands! 🙂

April Momoffour December 22, 2013 - 1:11 am

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!

Alli December 22, 2013 - 5:14 am

Thanks, April! We really do have fun going back and forth each year. Next year is my year to win.

Charlotte December 22, 2013 - 10:11 am

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

Alli December 23, 2013 - 5:00 am

And you, Charlotte, are way too kind. The grand kids were so much easier to work with than the grown kids. 🙂

Jeannie December 22, 2013 - 2:29 pm

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.

Alli December 23, 2013 - 4:59 am

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.

Carolyn Smith December 24, 2013 - 4:12 am

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.

Alli December 24, 2013 - 6:41 am

It should be a simple task, Carolyn. It’s sad when the grands do better than the grown children! 🙂

Rebekah January 1, 2014 - 10:04 am

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

Alli January 1, 2014 - 9:01 pm

I loved the pics! Like I said, the grands were like little models and never complained a bit! 🙂


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