An Accidental Ego Trip

December 24, 2012

in Cheap Expectations, I Learn the Lessons So You Don't Have To

Once Upon A Time, I decided we would take our first official family portrait.  Truth be told, I had visions of crisp-collared shirts and freshly pressed khakis for the boys, and frilly Christmas dresses for us girls.  A touch of Christmas decorations in the background – nothing tacky, just a simple visual reminder of the family.  Something we could put in a small, tasteful frame to gift the Grandmas in our lives. And send to Walmart for 100 copies to send in our annual Christmas Card to our closest friends and family.

So I booked us a single session at J.C. Penny’s portrait studio. And spent the next week realizing exactly how ridiculous it is to try and create coordinating – not matching – outfits for four people.  At least if you are trying to avoid visiting the rest of the J.C. Penny store to re-outfit everyone.

And then came the day before our photo shoot.

Aka. The day I checked out the prices for our photo shoot.

In case you hadn’t figured it out yet, I? Am not a math major. After being so thoroughly confused that I could barely find the door out of three different college math sessions in one week, I decided to satisfy my math/science requirements with a few more “Physics: How Things Work” classes, and a few less “Math 101” courses.

So it took me a few minutes. And a conversation or two with the Big Man. But I soon realized that, despite our coupons for free sitting fees, a free 8×10, and 50% the purchase price of the picture package of our choice, we were facing the choice between either paying for our Christmas Family Portrait.  Or next month’s groceries.

Granted, theses packages included prints of various sizes, a digital copy of all the photos, and a life-size, canvas-printed, vibrantly colored monument of ourselves and our pure, American, ego.

And as appealing as it was to force my MIL hang a life-sized reminder of her first, and only, grandchildren in the middle of her living room, the Big Man wasn’t completely sold on the idea of a family fast.

So I cancelled our photo shoot… and then I went on Facebook.

It’s not Just for playing Words with Friends!

And, after bombarding my friend list with the latest proof of how adorably photogenic my children are, I realized that one of our local friends? Is…

Wait for it…..


Yeah. We all saw that one coming, didn’t we?

But wait!

There’s more!

So we set up for her, and the boyfriend who has an insane ability to get my kids to smile no matter what, to come spend an hour of their day getting my children to forget their inability to breathe as I posed them in their holiday finest and begged, bribed, and threatened “genuine” smiles out of them. And in the last five minutes of our session? She got It. THE photo. One with us all smiling at the same time. Sure, we weren’t all actually looking in the same direction, but you can’t expect more than one miracle at a time.

We printed up a hundred to send out to our closest friend’s, family, and my MIL’s neighbors. No massive canvas’s for us. That’d just be awkward. No. We settled for a nice, tasteful, 4×6 to slip into all of our Christmas Cards. Kind of like glitter. But slightly less annoying.

And then I got a brilliant idea.

Why not make our Christmas cards in the shape of an ornament? And glue the pictures on the backs! Cute. Simple. And no-one is stuck finding a place for us on their fridge once all of this year’s Christmas cards have been thrown away carefully stored for later generations to treasure!

So that is exactly what I did.

And then, days after we sent them out, we went on our marathon holiday trip to see as many different friends and family members as we possibly could in a 3-week span.

And at each and every house, we saw our  ornament-shaped Christmas card.

On their trees.

Yup. Nothing says we’ve got an ego the size of a reindeer turd like putting yourself on someone else’s Christmas tree….

{ 1 comment }

NSC December 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm

OMG, you are so brave! I couldn’t even get ANY cards out…let alone the one I wanted to make into cards! Btw, that IS an excellent picture. Super jealous!

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