I just remembered this one thing that I forgot to do before Christmas. There’s still one and a half days left, so I’m not technically late, but I probably should have done it maybe 2 weeks ago so that I could have included it in the Christmas cards that I didn’t write or mail or even remotely consider doing. But now it’s too late for the cards, so I guess I only have to worry about getting it done before the decorations come down in a weekish.
Yeah, I forgot about the obligatory Christmas photos of both the girls and of us all as a family. Well, to be honest, I only kinda sorta forgot. The whole truth would be that I would start to remember a little bit, like “what’s that thing with the people who live in my house and the camera and the smiling like we get along that we do every year at around this time….Oooo, fudge!” Only there wasn’t any fudge and I was just distracting myself so that I wouldn’t have to remember completely.
I don’t know about at your house, but at ours family pictures aren’t exactly pleasure cruises. Sure, the kids are dressed up all cute and squeezable and AH looks handsome in an anonymous sort of way and I actually brush my hair, at least in the front. But there’s the behind-the-scenes part that sort of traumatizes me for the remainder of the year and that’s probably why part of my brain won’t let the other part of my brain remember anything about taking the pictures.
It usually starts with me clearing a path through the stray toys around the Christmas tree and/or fireplace large enough so that the camera won’t capture any of our actual living conditions. I set up the camera using a make-shift tripod called a tv tray and do a few test shots to perfect the angle and lighting and background scenery.
Once I’m happy with the ambiance, I wrastle the little ladies into some kind of dress or Christmassy garb or at least something without giant, obvious ketchup stains, and that involves a lot of chasing and yelling and threatening and crying (by me). Then I run around like a crazy person dumping the contents of my closet onto the floor, loudly complaining that I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO WEAR, forgetting that probably no one will see this but us and who cares what I wear as long as it’s not track pants (dammit). Then I ask AH to try to at least wear something that doesn’t have logos or writing (a portrait pet peeve of mine).
When we’re all wearing clothes, and clothes I’m not ashamed to show the world (us), I attempt to assemble the family in a unique (but not Awkward Family Photos unique) way, either sitting on the floor or on the couch, each of us grown ups seat-belting a kid with our arms. Oh, and Bosco has to be with us because he was our first child, afterall.
Once a position is decided upon, with optimum cuteness achieved by the chitlins, Bosco located within the frame, and both adults facing forward without too much grief and pain written on our faces, the process of taking approximately 1,860 shots begins.
“Look at the camera.””Stop hitting each other.””Bosco, stop licking your crotch.””You’re doing that thing with your eyebrows!””Stop talking!””SMILE.””No, don’t smile like that; smile like you’re happy, not crazy!””Sit STILL!””PRETEND WE’RE A HAPPY, LOVING FAMILY WHO IS HAPPY AND LOVES EACH OTHER AND PRETEND YOU’RE NOT HORRIBLE ROTTEN CHILDREN WHO WON’T EVEN SMILE NICELY FOR ONE, STUPID PICTURE FOR MOMMY THAT’S THE ONLY THING MOMMY WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS AND IF MOMMY DOESN’T GET IT THEN I’M CALLING SANTA AND TELLING HIM TO GIVE ALL YOUR PRESENTS TO THE STARVING KIDS IN CHINA!!!”
So, maybe I’ll get to it tomorrow. Or maybe I’ll think about re-visiting my relationship with spiced rum instead.