Dysfunctional family photos

Each November, I begin the process of pouring through the past year’s photos to choose our Christmas Card-worthy shots – you know, the ones that will make the “cut”.  I take a lot of photos. I mean, a lot.  Of photos. This year, I have come across an unusually large amount of really dysfunctional, kind of awkward, and yes, some really bad photos, ones that I probably should have deleted long ago. Since it usually takes  me several hours over a period of days to get the card put together and approved by my family, I am finding this a little cumbersome. Is 4 photos the right amount? Do I like the overlay? 6 is too many….oh my god, in that one, Joseph’s head awkwardly looks like it’s the same size as the soccer ball… and then I start to giggle, wondering WHY am I doing this? Or…What if I included these ridiculous photos in my card? In the era of Facebook and social media, so many photos are shared already, I mean, Does anyone really NEED this card from us anymore?

Wedding 2

But then I remember: No, people really enjoy these cards, they put them on their refrigerator.  They have told me this. I will myself onward. But somehow I keep coming back to the dysfunctional ones…..so what if Joseph is wearing his jacket as some kind of head gear? The selfie that Shannon was attempting at the beach with her beautiful hair all in her face, looking like Cousin IT from The Adams Family? The classic photo of me in mid-sentence, talking to whomever is taking the photo, while my husband Joe stands squinting stoically with a half smile on his face? This is us, after all.

Joseph headlock family NYCShannon beach

It’s natural to want to show our best selves in our annual Christmas Cards, and surely you notice that most everyone’s social media posts always reflect happy faces and kids, turned just the right way, trying to look as wonderful (and for most of us, as thin) as possible. No one tends to “let it all hang out.”

Beach towel Joseph goalie frustrationwedding wall

But what I will admit that I love about these well, not perfect photos, is that they show what really happens in life, which as we know is not always big happy smiles. We might not be showing our “best side”, our hair might be messed up, I might be yelling at someone, (what,, me? Yes, it’s true….) and instead of that perfect soccer shot going into the net, maybe it was a frustrating game captured in a perfect moment…and this is life. What if I had a normal Christmas Card instead of a super perfect one? What if we all decided to show our true everyday selves, not our Christmas Card worthy selves?  I imagine that some people might find it hilarious, some might be appalled, and others would think I had completely lost it.


Well, I’ll be completely honest, I might not have the courage to actually go through with it, so I’ve shared our fun photos here. Imagine these in a collage of mistletoe, with the nice holly border. Come on. It could be a new trend.