It was time for our annual family Christmas picture. And as most moms know this can be quite a process and is something that doesn’t just happen on a whim. There is much planning, scheduling, and coordinating that goes into the process and at times can be met with a little animosity…let’s just say tights, ties, and the color pink were strongly vetoed this year! Haha! The entire family cleared their Saturday morning, which is a lot to do when you have little ones with b-day parties, young adults with social lives, adults who are very involved in the church/community, and a photographer who is a mother herself and has her schedule to rearrange.
My mother and I started the clothes preparation months in advance. Painstakingly trying to coordinate colors. You’d be surprised at how many shades of red and green are out there! We finally nailed it! Then we added a few finishing touches and I took the kiddos shoe shopping a few days prior (Their feet grow too darn fast! I knew shoes had to be our last purchase). The night before I removed all tags and sat out clothes.
The morning of the pictures ran so smoothly, almost too smoothly! Everyone took their turn in the bathroom to get cleaned up, no arguing about anyone taking up too much time. I managed to do the girls’ hair without any complaints of pulling too hard, brushing an ear/face, or pulling too tight. We left the house stain free, hairs in place, and with matching socks, it was beautiful! I was so proud of my family, we did it! We even arrived early!! Talk about a Christmas pictures day miracle! Haha!
Once everyone had arrived we started searching for the perfect background for the picture. And we didn’t have to look for long. There it was!! A gorgeous tree full of these magnificent leaves a shade of red that perfectly complimented our red and green theme! It was like fall foliage fate had spoken! Haha! But seriously, it was beautiful! My excitement and anticipation started building when I realized this was actually happening, the perfect family picture!!!
And we were on the verge of perfection…and then this happened….
We asked our little one to please take off her coat just for the picture and then she could put it back on. And the consequence of that request was a tad surprising. Though, I should add that it was unseasonably cold that early Nov. day. It was 22 degrees that morning, so I can’t say I blame her for refusing to take off her coat. So then this happened….
And then…this happened….our Christmas 2014 Family Picture…….
The result ended up being far from perfection! After all the time, energy, phone calls, trips to the Mall, perfect background tree, everyone being on time, and this is our Christmas Picture!
I have to be honest; I was a little disappointed that she wouldn’t take off her coat. And though I am not proud to admit it I did try to bribe her with anything and everything I could think of…more screen time, candy, movie night pick, game night pick, you name and I tried, but she did not budge. So we ended up with a picture that was far from the perfect Christmas picture I had envisioned.
On the way home I thought back to my own childhood and all the Christmas pictures my mother had so perfectly composed. Funny thing is I couldn’t recall one perfect picture. Now that’s not to say that they didn’t happen, because they did, or at least a few did, I only know this because I have seen them framed and hanging on the wall. But I do not recall those perfect pictures, getting ready, going to have them done, none of it! What I do recall is the year my sister was only 2 months old and cried during the entire shoot. The end result was me smiling a real cheesy/fake smile and her in my arms beat read and crying. Or the one where my little brother refused to put his tongue in his mouth. Lol! This got me thinking about all my fond memories of Christmas past. And guess what? I don’t remember anything that was perfect! All of my memorable Christmas moments are ones where the opposite of perfect occurred. Like when the Christmas tree slowly fell over and you could literally see it happening when we played back the video! Or when the entire family was seated and eating in the dining room and my uncle announced that he let the cat in, to which my mother replied “We don’t have a cat!” Or the time the dog caught a squirrel. Oh the memories! They bring me so much joy!
I have come to the conclusion that we don’t remember the perfect Christmases but rather the moments that make each and every Christmas unique and special. It is those unique moments that freeze in time and help us to remember grandma’s contagious laugh, Dad’s amazing patience, and a 4 year olds willpower and refusal to take off her coat. Haha! Embrace the beauty that comes from imperfection this Christmas and treasure those memories for a lifetime!
Patience Brewster, a designer of Christmas ornaments and gifts, helped inspire this holiday memory post!
Do you take a family Christmas picture each year? Do you have an imperfect memory to share?