Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Christmas card/photo: A progression

Growing up, I can't remember ever sending Christmas cards. Every now and again, after a particularly active holiday greeting card year, my dad would make a list of who had sent us a card and make it a goal to send Christmas cards to those individuals. But handy list or not, we still never sent them. I kind of felt bad for those who sent us cards because they were pretty much SOL on chances of getting one back.

But, at the end of the 20th century (or, in other words, the first year Shane and I were married, 1999) I decided I would send Christmas cards. I got out the address book I had gotten as a wedding present almost a year before and filled with various names and addresses and went down the list. I sent cards to all my sisters, my parents, Shane's two sets of parents, various uncles and aunts, friends, and my bunko lists. That year set a precedence for the annual Christmas card.

And even though back then, we didn't always send a picture with the Christmas card, I have always made sure to have a picture of our family at Christmas time and/or a Christmas card photo. Here for your perusal are the visual evidence of our family growing by people, years, wrinkles, and grey hairs.

We had been dating for about 5 months. I can remember I was writing a paper on my future mother-in-law's computer while Shane watched a Saturday Steeler game and did his laundry. We were babies - I was 22, Shane was 26.

Less than 1 month before we got married. This is the last known sighting of Amy's pink dress (Amy, I wish I knew where it was!)

Ah, weren't we cute? Not really newlyweds, but our first married Christmas, and the only one we spent in our apartment. I had a ball decorating that year.

Our cats were our kids back then. I spent most of this Christmas spraying my tree with a concoction that would keep our cats out of the tree. All it did was make me sick - I was barely prego with Thomas here.

First Christmas with Thomas. He was such a cute baby! This was the year I soaked off his cast because I couldn't stand having a baby with a cast one more day. He got another one 2 days later, but I didn't car.

I am not sure what was going on with my skin at the time. And the hair was way short for me.

Thomas is holding a stuffed cat named Sianna. He did everything with this cat for over a year.

I was large with child/Ben in this one. My last Christmas in my 20's; sniff.

Baby Ben, 4 year old Thomas (I am not sure what was up with my hair; I thought it looked good?)

5 year old Thomas, 1 year old Ben. Man, we all look so stiff and formal. Lighten up already. And I miss that sweater - I used to adore the J. Jill catalog.

This might be my favorite card we ever did. I love that both my kids are little, but kind of big, too. Plus it was a snapshot that just turned out so good that I couldn't not use it as the Christmas card, right?

7 year old Thomas, 3 year old Ben. We snapped this one right after work one evening, and you can tell. The kids all look dazed, my whispy hairs are flapping in the breeze, and Shane just wants it to be over as fast as possible.

Last Christmas in our old house. Notice the return of the (real) cat.

First Christmas after moving. Ben has an ongoing knack for putting holes in his jeans.

And today: I'm not super happy with this one, but my family was D.O.N.E. done by the time I snapped this. I got two more (one with Ben's head cut off and another with Shane's eyes closed and Thomas holding the cat (again!) so this was my only option. Eh.

I am old. I found a long long grey hair last night. I mean long. I am closer to 40 than 30. Shane is 40 (but still way hott, right?) My kids are 10 and 6. But, we are together and it's only December 10th and I've ordered the Christmas cards. Not bad, not bad.

Wow, this little post has taken me all night. But I wonder: How have your Christmas photos changed over the years? If you find some oldies but goodies, post them and let me know. I'd love to see your latest and greatest!


Amy Sorensen said...

I'm totally going to steal this idea. But not tonight! And, I KNEW you had the pink dress last! I hope we find it one day.

I've had our Christmas photo picked out for over a month. Haven't actually got the cards yet though. Partly because the photo-shoot experience was so frustrating I don't want to revisit it! ;)

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I wish i'd been more diligent about taking christmas photos. I don't have any pics from last year, and the few years before that are on our corrupt external hard drive. It will cost $1,500 to get them back!

I love how there is a story for every picture!

Melanie said...

This is a little trip down history lane for me. I love seeing the progression and remembering what we were doing with you guys at different times. I'm tearing up now. If you take me off of your Christmas card list when we move, you're in trouble!

Isabel said...

What a great post. And I'm totally loving the pictures. I especially liked seeing the progression of you and Shane's hair styles!

We made handmade cards when I was a kid. We would put ink on our fingers and stamp them on paper and then make a littler person out of our fingerprint. Does that make sense? We loved doing it. I've been sending out my own christmas cards since I was a teenager! I don't think I could NOT send out cards. It's in my blood. (Your card is going out in the mail today!)

Chris Selander said...

Love seeing the progression of your wonderful family! Also fun to see the pink dress - I have pictures of me wearing it to a dance :)