Getting (Christmas) Carded

Could there possibly be anything less conducive to getting in the holiday spirit than taking a Christmas card photo? We took ours Saturday afternoon at Nantasket Beach in Hull and after much cajoling, pleading, bickering, and ill will, we finally ended up with something usable. And every year that’s precisely our goal: something usable. The Cleavers we’re not.

It used to be pretty simple. Someone would take a snap shot of me and Bryna and it would be done. Having an infant was also a no-brainer: young couple holding a baby. When we added the second child and the “gift” of movement, things started to get more complicated. With two boys and a dog it became blood sport.

Thankfully, we don’t send out a soundtrack with the card. That would be ugly. “Stop pinching your brother! Look up. Delilah, sit! Why do we have to send out Christmas cards — this is so stupid!”

I love getting Christmas cards in the mail but I’m always curious about the back story. Not just with the taking of the picture but with people’s lives. We do our best to present perfect, Stepford-like families but what’s really going on? Perhaps a Christmas letter isn’t the place to air the fact that grandpa is suffering from dementia and your daughter is now taking Ritalin but it’s hard to be in authentic relationship with people based on the content of their Christmas cards. Though perhaps that’s why we’re only in touch once a year.

For those of you still waiting to take your Christmas card pictures, I wish you the best. And even if an intense family feud ensues remember that it’s all to the glory of Jesus’ birth. Right?


2 Comments on “Getting (Christmas) Carded”

  1. Mariclaire Buckley says:

    OK Fr. Tim-now that you’ve had the practice, how about coming over to take a picture of a five year old and three year old triplets?

  2. David Knight says:

    I have decided that with Facebook being used by the entire planet, Christmas card photos and the “family letter” are redundant.
    Problem solved. Thank you geeky Harvard guy!

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