When I think of hell, I imagine it being my living room, with all the toys and crap shoved into one corner, and white, slightly wrinkled sheet hanging on the far wall.
I’m standing in the middle of the room, wearing a full body grizzly bear costume, while three little identical Gary Busey’s run around me screaming and shooting each other with squirt guns full of gasoline as I scream at them to stop fighting and to stand in front of the sheet and smile.
There are few things worse than Christmas card photo day.
Except maybe stomach flu you throw up so hard you poop yourself day.
Or the opening day of absolutely any Fast & the Furious movie.
You go into it with a plan and a pocket full of good intentions.
All the clothes are laid out. The kids have had a bath, their hair washed and styled. You spend the morning running around without a shirt on, as to not end up with armpit stains and dog hair down the front of you.
Then you start yelling things like…
Come on, we’re losing the light!
Stop touching yourself!
Just smile for 5 fucking seconds!
Fine, then none of you will be in the picture, thanks for ruining Christmas!
Two hours later, you’re flipping through the shots on the view screen of your camera, deciding what heads you can photoshop onto what bodies, and which fists full of hair you can crop out.
And you’re sweaty. So, so sweaty.
Last year, after sending everyone to their rooms for the day and drinking my feelings in the hall closet, it hit me.
I didn’t have to do this.
Christmas cards weren’t a mandatory part of the holidays.
The tiny Grinch on my right shoulder rejoiced, as the wee Clark Griswold on my left wept into the sleeve of his Christmas cardigan.
2011 would be the year of no Christmas cards.
But then Shutterfly emails me last week, asking if they could do my holiday cards for me. No seriously, I’m not doing them, so stop asking, ok?
Then they were all, OMG I know they are super stressful and unfun, just check out this Family Photo Days site we designed to make it a less sucky experience and let us know, P.S. You look really pretty today.
So I was like, fine, but I’m still totally not doing them, because my kids don’t even like me right now, and we have no matching plaid outfits.
Except, when I went to the site…THEY WERE ADORABLE, Y’ALL. Yes. Yes I will do holiday cards this year.
The tiny Clark Griswold on my shoulder high fived my neck and came in his pants.
So today, totally inspired by Shutterfly Family Photo Days, we made our Christmas cards.
Nobody fought, nobody was listed for sale on Craigslist, and the only person who cried was Andy…when I showed him how adorable the people I made with my organs were.
So, fine. I’m not going to be a Grinch this year, at least about the cards, I still have no idea what a yule log is, and it totally sounds stupid.
But, since I’m feeling especially merry, I’ve decided to pass along the Christmas cheer to one of you, by way of 25 free Shutterfly cards of your choice.
All you have to do is leave me a comment with your favorite family photo tip, aka, how you get through family photos without murdering anyone.
You can enter as many times as you wish, with each comment containing one tip.
For extra entries, you can tweet about the Family Photo Day card giveaway using the hashtag #shutterflycards, and then just leave the link to your tweet in a comment.
This contest runs until December 9th, 2011 at 12am EST. One winner will be randomly selected, and prize delivered upon confirmation of winning.
I was compensated for this post by Shutterfly, but my opinions and the kids in the picture are my own. Allegedly.