Project Christmas Card Photo


It’s that time of year again– time to get THE photo for the Christmas card. Well, actually, it’s a little late. We usually take our own photos and order our Christmas cards on Black Friday when the Internet site I use to create the card has a sale. This year, the site I normally use decided to change things up, and instead of having a general Black Friday sale, they instead had specific products on sale at specific hours and, well, I was not getting my butt out of bed at 5 AM just to order Christmas cards. Plus, I knew the site was pricey (even with a sale) and this was a good excuse as any to shop around. Plus, well, we hadn’t taken any photos yet.

I found another site that has a sale until December 1st, so whew! I even liked their cards better. But still, THE photo was needed, and I was aiming for this weekend to get the job done.

Well,  yesterday, Muffin had some issues– okay, constipation issues if you must know– so the poor thing was in no mood for photo taking. She spent a good part of yesterday doubled over or hiding in the closet saying, “Go away, Mommy!”

So instead, I concentrated my efforts in a search for a Santa hat for the photo. One would think a Santa hat would be an easy thing to find this time of year, right? Turns out, not so much. A guy at Target told me I was too early. Too early? What? This is the same store that had the Christmas decorations up before Halloween, right? Anyway, strangely enough, I finally had a bit of luck at a grocery store– the 7th store I searched in.

With Mission Santa Hat accomplished, today was the day for the photo shoot.  I knew from experience that this photo taking is a project. Kids aren’t always the most cooperative subjects. And this year, I really wanted a picture of Charlie and our dog, and well, kids and animals together? For a photo? Yeah. It was like that. Good shot of the dog, bad shot of the kid. Great smile on the kid, dog out of frame.

The first year we tried this, we gave up on the dog altogether. Here’s what our very first Christmas card photo shoot in 2008 looked like:

(Now at this point in writing this post, I went to our home computer, where our early pictures of Muffin are stored, in order to get some photos to share. And then I almost missed my posting deadline because I then spent an hour looking at old photos and saying things like, “Oh my God, look at my baby!”  Because really, look at my baby!)

(I should add that the second year, we had no such photo shoot because we ended up using pictures we had taken at Sears. I did not have them taken with that intention; the photographer just happened to take a few shots with a Christmas backdrop and then made a collage I liked, so we just went with that  Anyway, back to today…)

This year, I thought with Muffin being almost three, we might have a shot at a good picture of her with the dog. I bribed her with the promise of an ice pop, and it worked for a very short while. Muffin managed to sit still for a few shots as we tried to get the dog into position. I kept snapping away until Muffin got too distracted to even care about the ice pop and started playing with toys and asking to watch Scooby. I downloaded what we had and wasn’t really happy. Cute, sure, but THE picture wasn’t there. Here’s a few that didn’t make the cut:

Well, after our photo shoot, I needed a break and went out for a bit to hang with a friend. Thinking we had no winning photo, I resigned myself to the fact that I was going have to endure another day of bribery getting Muffin dressed up and ready to go for photo shoot #2. But my husband, who thinks Photoshop can save the world, went to work and did his magic. Much to my surprise and delight, he got the job done! Yep, by the time I returned, he had created THE photo.

(Why no, of course I’m not posting it here! You’ll have to wait for the card!)

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