Without fail, every year I make a point to corral the family, throw them into outfits that blend, coif the locks of five people, find an appropriate setting, grab a friend with a camera, and snap a shot for the annual Christmas photo card. This seems to work out perfectly since our family has not stepped foot in an official photography studio for ten or so years. A commitment of that caliber would require money bribes, a bit of duct tape or handcuffs, too many hair products to count, and Christmas sweaters. We don't do Christmas sweaters. The thought of executing that scenario exhausts me.
After sorting through the photos I typically choose one where I look best. I do have my limits however, no closed eyes or turned heads no matter how photogenic I appear. After careful selection, I saunter down to the warehouse store and place the order, but I don’t always get it right. One year I inadvertently chose the wrong photo; a costly mistake. This year I ordered too many cards with the assumption that I had more friends than I actually do. Half of the cards were thrown away; another costly mistake.
With every card sent, I include a "year at a glance letter" which, for a family of six, can get lengthy - I like to write. I can tell you though, I have never exceeded the one page limit even I have to use a font size of 4.
In the past I have placed a disclaimer in the enclosed letter that excuses anyone from reading through a years worth of thoughts if their choice is to do otherwise. No feelings will be hurt if a family friend opts out of the reading, glances at the picture, and than tosses the entire contents of the envelope.
I however, love to read over what people have written so as to catch up on their lives. I think it is funny that these letters are mostly written by the mom of the family, yet they speak in third person. I always sign the bottom of my letters because, after all, I am the letter writer.
This years letter is complete, and I was able to squeeze all of the information on one page using a font size of 11. Pretty good for a writer who LOVES details. This year I chose a picture that makes everyone else look great, and I look so-so, so-so and old. I just hope that no one else notices. Next year we'll have to use the camera with the frosty lens to hide the "details." I'm going to need it.