Won’t you say ‘cheese’ – please?

I felt the pressure in October, when I heard a lady saying she had already taken hers. It sounded pretty impressive, too, lining all the grandkids up in numbered shirts. She said they got the idea off Pinterest, and thanks to that web site and a jillion others, there’s more pressure than ever to come up with original ones – Christmas card photos, that is.

As if there wasn’t enough pressure already.

Through the years our family has done the different backgrounds – beach, mountain, indoor by the stockings hung with care. We’ve tried different looks – candid, color-coordinated, black and white, professionally taken.

There was even one time we did our own Nativity scene (before the kids were old enough to balk). But looking back, I must admit the one constant of each of our picture-taking sessions was that they were a tad bit stressful. Let me restate that. They were stressful.

That’s because focusing on the “photo” was always paramount. We were involved in a chronicling activity equal to that of the history channel – plus the “photo” had to be in the mail by Dec. 10 (even when we moved on Dec. 12). So if while taking the “photo” a shoe became untied, a hair bow fell out, or someone dared to get the flu, the shoot would go right ahead as scheduled, no looking back.

There were the early, pre-digital years, when the “photo” required two rolls of film just to get one shot with everybody looking at the camera. Once I got so desperate I did a little “Photoshopping” on the baby’s head – before Photoshop had been invented. My sister-in-law let me know I hadn’t gotten anything by her.

“So, Kim, what ever were you thinking with that card of yours this year?” she prodded from her seat across the Christmas dinner table. My husband’s snickering made it difficult for her to hear the reasoning behind my cut-and-paste effort, but I tried anyway.

It was useless, though. What could someone who sent Currier and Ives cards understand of the “photo”? She knew nothing of the diplomacy required to get five children into Sunday clothes on a Saturday, especially when it was 80 degrees and the ensemble included Christmas sweaters and long sleeves.

I must admit I didn’t realize the far-reaching psychological effects the “photo” had on our children until one of them got married. That’s when our son let it be known. “No more posing,” he stated firmly. “Snap when you can.”

It was, for all practical purposes, his Christmas card photo Emancipation Proclamation.

We were all pretty impressed by his gutsy pronouncement until we got a card from his new in-laws. I guess they hadn’t heard the same speech, because there he was, front and center. In their “photo”

Fortunately for me, we’ve entered a whole new era. No longer are card senders limited to one photo. Oh, no. Now we can send multiples, front and back. Which is why instead of begging the whole family to endure a long session outside last week, I could just pilfer through shots I’ve already taken.

The sad thing is, though, I’ve had this unique idea mulling around in my mind for years, and it looks like that’s where it’s going to stay – my big, fat “photo” regret. Too bad. I really think a glossy 5×7 of all of us wearing those fake Bubba teeth would be hard to beat, even on Pinterest.

Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at kimhenderson319@gmail.com.

 

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