Christmas Card Angst {Part One}

There are few things as stressful as getting ourselves together to take a family photo for our Christmas card.

Actually, I'm sure there are plenty of things that are more stressful, but work with me here, okay?

We all know I am not a planner, not an early bird and not a professional photographer. Keep all of those things in mind. Last weekend I threw down the gauntlet and declared we were taking a family photo no matter what. Our first attempt took place Friday evening. Notice the quickly fading light. We went to a local park that has several nice features, like this fountain that appears to be growing out of our heads.

We tried several more around the park, on the bridge and in the gazebo to no avail. Did I forget to mention that it was coooold, windy and all Annelise wanted to do was go to the playground? And Scott was hungry? It's a little hard to rally the troops under those conditions, but I tried. Just about all of the photos suffer from poor lighting, awkward arrangements, wrong exposure, fake smiles or spontaneous ear scratching.

So I packed up my tripod and called it a day.

Sunday afternoon after church and lunch we tried a location down by the water.

We tried several arrangements with me making numerous trips back and forth to the tripod and used my remote, which is not as discreet as you would think.

Finally we were getting somewhere...

But then we had a bit of a Hitchcock moment when another family started feeding the seagulls.

Once they calmed back down, we tried an artsy fartsy photo. I bet you're wondering what we are gazing at off in the distance, aren't you?

Annelise kept taking breaks to play around on the rocks. I'm just thankful she didn't get muddy or slide off into the questionable water.

The one below was this close to making it on the Christmas card because it was a little closer than the earlier one. However, Scott and I were slightly disappointed in Annelise's half-hearted smile, so it didn't make the cut.

After almost an hour and a zillion snaps of my shutter later, I was hopeful we had a few good shots to choose from. We packed it up and let Annelise make a beeline for the playground. This was her face when we told her it was time to leave...

and she realized her play time did not quite equal up to her photo torture time and cried FOUL.
Now it was time to weed out the so-sos from the heck-nos and choose the possible contenders. A daunting task that required much consultation with Scott as he tried to watch football. Which went over swimmingly.
Stay tuned...I'll be back soon with the results.
EDITED to add: We obviously did not go all Matchy McMatcherson for our photos. Personally, I think it's perfectly fine if your clothes complement each other and not compete with each other. I also think it's fine to match if that makes your horn honk. Now, I was concerned that my bold print and Annelise's stripes were not necessarily complementing each other, but at we went for it anyway. What's your opinion on the Matchy McMatcherson approach vs. not so much?


  1. LOL. I can SO relate to this!!! I actually really like the artsy fartsy one. ;-)

  2. I ended up using a self-portrait we took on Randy's birthday in October because I didn't want to prolong the Christmas card process any longer, especially since there's no guarantee we'd get anything better.

    Your options are cute!

  3. Ours was somewhere in the middle. Not too matchy, but we didn't clash. Love you pics. Love her Hanna Andersson dress, too - their dresses and opposite leggings are so cute.

    Merry Christmas!


  4. Wow. I think you're picky, cause those were all amazing. Or maybe I just have very low standards.

    I'm sort of over the matchy. We always compliment and I always have a theme, as it were, but not like all denim or all white. NOT that I haven't done that plenty in the past...

  5. Hi Holly, I found your blog when I was searching for blogs on marathons. I'm running my first, **gulp**, in May. I want to do it before I turn 35 in August. Your posts on running and your marathons were so inspiring. Helps me to really believe I can do it!!

  6. I guess I am guilty of being more of a Matchy Matcherson....LOL! I like it both ways though. I think all your pics turned out great!

    I sure have missed you lately...it has been crazy. We need lunch...

  7. "The Birds! The Birds!" Shudder. Birds are SO creepy.

    I like complementing palettes, but not matchy. You know? If the colors are complimentary, etc. I even like matching colors. But matching shirts, etc.? Nah.

    Do you need my address? Ahem.

    (i didn't do cards--but if i HAD, i would send you one:)

  8. Hope I didn't come across as slamming the matching shirt crowd, I didn't mean to do that. I like same color families, we just didn't do that for this picture.

    Rochelle: You are so right, I'm too picky for my own good sometimes. Some of the photos from this post actually DID make the card though. :)

    Thanks to all who liked the pictures!!

  9. Your card was AMAZING! I always think my Texan friends have the best cards. Ours didn't make it out to the mailbox yet but they will. Soon. Ish.

    I just love your phrase Matchy McMatcherson. I think it's definitely on its way out. I saw a lot of complimenting wardrobes this year and I like it!


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