Say, does anyone remember how successful our attempts at a holiday card photo were last year? Let me tell you, we did equally well this time around.

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Hey, this isn’t so bad, right? Dylan’s okay, I’m okay, JB’s okay, and—oh. Nevermind.

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Pathetic, probably-abused Dog; Monster Hands, Suspicious Toddler. Yeah, pass.

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Hey, you know that carrying-you-for-nine-months-followed-by-major-surgery-thing? YOU’RE FUCKING WELCOME.

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Unattractive angle, child pounding my head, other child apparently making howler monkey noise. Jesus. PASS.

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I . . . uh. Why is—why? WHY?

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Okay. Okay okay okay, everyone’s sick of trying to do this, this looks like the closest thing we’ve got to a—WHAT THE HELL, RILEY.

Next time, I’m hiring a photographer. Not to take pictures of us, but to call every relative I know and explain in technical terms how taking family portraits is best left to the professionals and THAT’S why we don’t have a goddamned holiday card this year.

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Elle
12 years ago

I love all of these photos. I know I would totally enjoy receiving photos like these from my family and friends :)

Michael
Michael
12 years ago

One word: Photoshop.

It’s easiest if you can get everyone on one side to look good in one photo, and everyone on the other side to look good in another photo.

Aimee
12 years ago

Actually, all of these together on one card would be quite cute. “Christmas photo outtakes.”

Brenda
Brenda
12 years ago

try getting eleven people (2 are babies) to look at the camera for a picture! We decided to do a family pic of the kids and grandkids for my parents. Finally decided on the one where all the adults are smiling at the camera and the babies are looking else where. We’ll just include a cute one of them in another frame =)

Rachel
12 years ago

Love them all! Your boys make everything look like fun. :)

Also, the way JB is looking at you in the one where Dylan is pounding on your head… SWEET. Eons better than the average carefully-posed couple picture.

Amanda Brown
12 years ago

Oh, that last one made me pee in my pants. SO GREAT.

Jennifer
12 years ago

Haahahaa Riley has learned to be the PhotoBomber.

AmyBeth
AmyBeth
12 years ago

Oh god, I’m going through this right now.

Kristen
12 years ago

I dread this task. Every year. I have four kids and I have resigned myself to the “collage of individual faces” because it is just too hard to get everyone looking and smiliing.

But I think you last one looks great!

akeeyu
12 years ago

Hell, my favorite family picture this year is one snapped during an attempted lovely-posed-real-photographer session.

Milbarge is attempting to liquefy her own spine in order to ooze out of frame (bonus: she’s crying bitter tears of rage at her failure to do so) Fitz-Hume is partially upside down while I frantically try to pull her super-twee-but-in-retrospect-perhaps-a-skosh-too-small pants back up, ABC is laughing her ass off, and Sam is trying pretty hard to deny that he knows the rest of us, because we are all weirdos.

Meredith
Meredith
12 years ago

Hysterical…..laughed out loud again!

Barbara
Barbara
12 years ago

Actually the fourth one is perfect. It says it all in the way JB looks at you. Go for it.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
12 years ago

HA! I Love your comments, that made my morning.

MH
MH
12 years ago

OMG, You have bangs.

Jen
Jen
12 years ago

I had to photoshop the head of my 2 year old from one photo to another. Anyway, at least you tried. I hate it when people only put photos of thier kids on the cards. I want to see the grown-ups also!

Sarah
Sarah
12 years ago

I’ve been waiting for this post. It makes me laugh every year. I love the last photo. You look beautiful.

Christina
12 years ago

I just used some photos from the end of the year at various places we visited. I used six total. Two of them were the two kids together, two were an individual shot of each kid, and two of the photos included myself and my husband with one or both of the kids. It made it easier and love the way it turned out!

Ness at Drovers Run
12 years ago

My trick is to take the four best individual photographs of our family taken in the past year, and use *that* as our holiday card. I just design a card that has four spaces for photos. Works for us -and is virtually stress free.

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

Oh my God. I laughed out loud. You are hilarious!

emily
emily
12 years ago

Every morning (for the past 4 days) I get up and put my 7 week old in a black velvet party dress and try to bribe my 3 year old, whom I have to pin down to wrangle into his Christmas outfit, to hold her lovingly beneath the Christmas tree. Yesterday it ended with my him deliberately removing and PEEING on his sweater whilst I cleaned the spit-up off the party dress, again. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment.

Amy M.
Amy M.
12 years ago

Those are fantastic! In ours last year, the toddlers thought it would be funny to turn at the last minute & point their rear ends at the camera. Good times.

Tee
Tee
12 years ago

That last one is good! Of course, every year, we do a Christmas cards with *just* my boys and every year I end up giving up and sending a card featuring a picture of the boys ‘hugging’ (see also: wrestling).

Stephanie
Stephanie
12 years ago

Just gotta say…I LOVE the bangs!

Sarah
Sarah
12 years ago

The hands-in-pockets photo is hilarious! If you crop it just to include Riley and JB, you’ve got a frameworthy one!

M.A. from EmEye
M.A. from EmEye
12 years ago

Hey, L – in Utah for a family thing and catching up on you. As always, you make me bray like a donkey (your words, but I steal them — frequently!). You all look great. I mean, srsly. MERRY CHRISTMAS! There, I said it. (P.S. Love the bangs, too — makes you look like you are 18.)

Jennifer
Jennifer
12 years ago

Your commentary was HILARIOUS! I laughed so hard I had tears! These are the moments we should all be living for…not the fake smiled pictures that we’re all striving for.

We went through the same thing last weekend. Not an easy feat with 2 boys, but try FOUR kids – ages 3 months, 2.5 years, 6.5 years, and 12.5 years. Yeah, fucking hilarious if I let myself get over the frustration of yet another Christmas card that doesn’t live up to perfection.

Donna
Donna
12 years ago

The actual one? Gorgeous, I love you guys!

June
12 years ago

We did our holiday card photo shoot last weekend (a 2-year-old and 5-mo-old twins), and upon review of the 50-odd photos, I TOTALLY REMEMBERED YOUR POST from last year. Right there with you, sister!

Kristin
12 years ago

These are fantastic, Linda. Did you use a timer, or have a friend/family member take them? We had professional photos taken this fall with all of us (2 adults and kids ages 13, 11, 8, 6 & 22 months). Even the pro had to photoshop. The toddler would NOT cooperate!

kalisa
12 years ago

You forgot “JB standing in fig-leaf pose” on photo attempt #4.

telegirl
telegirl
12 years ago

The pictures & commentary are hilarious! Thanks for the morning laugh. We are going through something similar… can’t get a single “good” family photo. I can Photoshop the crap out of things and I still can’t get anything better than a pumpkin patch picture which isn’t exactly appropriate for a Christmas card, is it? I hate when people send Christmas cards with just their kids on it but I may have to resort to that because they just had school photos and they turned out really well.

Veronica
Veronica
12 years ago

As usual… you never disappoint.

transientxpress
12 years ago

Child pounding head is AWESOME. Is it me or is JB’s grin screaming told ya this was a bad idea? Classic!

Emma
Emma
12 years ago

Oh I needed that…I have two monkeys – er boys – your age and I have a million of the same pictures. Hands in pants, mouth open, beating me up…and why does daddy always look good in all pictures? No fair. Thanks for the tears of laughter!

Lawyerish
12 years ago

So freaking funny. I think the Monster Hands one is my favorite, especially with Dog adding a tragic element to it: “Oh, won’t someone please just pat my head? Even just a LITTLE??”

Sunshyn
12 years ago

Ours are worse. Plus we did ’em without the dog (the only chance we had was Thanksgiving, not at home).

Love the bangs…

very bloggy beth
12 years ago

We forewent the entire deal this year and just sent a semi-recent pic of the kid.

Sarah
12 years ago

LOL. I just LOVE the hands in pockets picture! Hilarious. Otherwise, I feel your pain. This is why I never bother attempting family Christmas cards…they never work *lol*

Donna
Donna
12 years ago

I swear — those boys were put on this earth to make me laugh. And you must have read Swistle today — it must be something in the air. . . . .

Laura Walker
Laura Walker
12 years ago

There is perfection in imperfection. Love all the photos!

Livi
Livi
12 years ago

dude, love this one: Unattractive angle, child pounding my head, other child apparently making howler monkey noise. Jesus. PASS.

Kristin
Kristin
12 years ago

Funny! And hey, What do I say to my stylist to get your hair?

Kristin
Kristin
12 years ago

Er, hair CUT, not your actual hair…

Dana
12 years ago

I took 120 frames trying to get our four children to just look normal – not perfect – just normal. And I didn’t get a single one so I made a short movie of all the crappy out takes. If you watch, I promise you’ll think your shots are AWESOME.
http://www.vimeo.com/17268743

Belle
Belle
12 years ago

Aw, Linda….every one of them if fantastic. Really! You all look normal and happy and like people I’d enjoy knowing.

FRAME that one of you and Riley….it’s an absolute keeper and almost made me cry.

Belle
Belle
12 years ago

:is: fantastic….geesh

sweetandcoolval
sweetandcoolval
12 years ago

You guys look like the fun lovin’ family you are. I appreciate the honesty of these photos. I say celebrate the goofy! You have had an intense year and you are hanging in there. Let it shine.

Lori
12 years ago

I was giggling the whole way through but Riley’s face in that last one pushed me over the edge into that weird thing where you’re not making noise and just sort of gasping.

Awesome Christmas card pics! I would love getting cards like this from my friends/family rather than the overly posed ones I seem to get.

Frannie
Frannie
12 years ago

Hey Linda, is there any reason why you’ve taken away your Archives? I miss reading your old posts about your pregnancies and working out after them.

Courtney
Courtney
12 years ago

Glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed, JB’s face in photo #4…man, that’s what sappy movies are made out of. *swoon*