It’s that time of the year again when every parent starts thinking about how to stage an even more clever or precious family Christmas card than last year. The costumes get more elaborate each year. The ideas get more out of the box. Gone are the days of simple family photos gracing simple cards that will get mailed out to everyone you have ever met. These days families need to have exotic and social media worthy clever poses and fun ideas and exotic locations to make their lives seem absolutely picture perfect. Airbrushed and filtered these photos will get looked at for about two seconds and then the card will get tossed in the trash.
The real truth is my Pinterest loving fellow parents that no one cares about your super cute and clever Christmas card. Those cards are interesting for about a minute and then they will never get looked at ever again. You can stop wasting a fortune on costumes, professional photographers, and staging the perfect family photo op in front of your tree or outside in the snow or in front of a landmark on some exotic vacation. That’s the kind of stuff that gets posted on social media. It’s fake, and everyone knows it’s fake.
So how about this year we all get real when we send our holiday cards? What do you think? Let’s skip trying to get our kids into those ridiculous outfits. Trying to force them all to stand in stupid poses to get that one perfect shot. Let’s take photos of our families being themselves. A Sunday morning photo of everyone in pajamas eating breakfast and talking. Or a photo of family game night where everyone is laughing so hard that my son has milk coming out of his nose. Those are the family photos I want to see. Those are the kinds of photos that will make me frame your Christmas card. Put it on my wall where I can look at it all year and remember all the reasons why you’re special to me and why I love your family.
We don’t need any more fakery in this world today. We need realness. Real life is messy and sometimes ugly, and sometimes it’s chaos. Let’s show that in our photos. Let’s show mom frowning and dad snorting with laughter and the kids looking so bored they want to die. Have the courage to show your family the way they are every day. Instead of posed shots that make them look like stiff strangers who aren’t real.
I dare you to go totally real this holiday season. Take photos for your holiday cards with your cell phone instead of hiring a pro. Take a photo of everyone sitting around the tree. Or use a photo of the snowman that you built with the kids during the first snow of the season. Real life is beautiful so let’s celebrate that instead of trying to be perfect this year.