THE Christmas Card Photo

The holiday season is creeping up and in a few weeks our mailboxes will be cluttered with Christmas cards. When I was a little girl I would study and examine all of the Christmas cards we received. I took note of all the khaki, the smiles on the beach, and the family vacation pictures from Yosemite.  I loved seeing how our family and friends have grown each year. And then there is always the person that sends a two-page (front and back) report on their whole year. Sammy went to the vet. Max now enjoys peas! Or, how about…the person that sends a heartfelt and lovely card wishing you the merriest holiday, with no picture in sight? Gasp! THE HORROR. Any way you do it, I love Christmas card season.

So, last year we had a one year old, (our first child) and I decided it was the perfect time to send out our very first Christmas card. Little did I know how much stress this was going to induce. After picking out the picture-perfect outfit, doing my nails and deciding on the perfect spot, we were ready. I had a pal take our picture with our DSLR camera and chose a touristy spot in downtown Shanghai. Of course it was a Saturday and so there were one million and two people at our location, which created quite a problem. We had to politely ask people to move for a second, or go somewhere completely secluded. My daughter was very in cooperative that day. Did I mention she was one years old? And lo and behold, when we started taking pictures I decided, I didn’t like my outfit at all. Why had I chosen this? My advice to you and you and you: Don’t look in the screen on the back of the camera during the session. Just don’t. We had to peruse Pinterest for The. Perfect. Pose. And then we had to execute it…naturally. I remember telling my husband, “Put your hand here, look up, stand up straight, act like you are having fun, and lower your eyelids a tinge, No. Too much. Come on, don’t make it look forced.” I think my husband said a few times that day, “I am never doing this again.” So after about an hour of this forceful loveliness, we called it quits and decided there’d have to be one that would work.

And it did. It wasn’t the best picture. But it was acceptable. $100 and 235 layout samples later, we shipped those puppies out.

So this year, after much consideration...I decided to be real with my family and friends. There was laughter and milestones, but there were also tears and tribulations. The Buhler’s’ experienced some exotic voyages, but we also made trips to the Emergency room. My daughter can speak in complete sentences but she also tells me no on a daily basis. So, here’s to you, family and friends. Have a genuine, lovely, authentic Christmas and Hanukah.

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