Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Cards

I LOVE receiving Christmas cards – they feel a little like a “thank you for being a part of our lives” card to me.  Since I’m desperately trying to teach my children the importance of thank-you cards, and I see written correspondence as a dying art form, AND because I was so sick (pregnant) that I didn’t do them last year, AND because I like them and I like sending them and I like telling people “thank you for being a part of our lives,” I’m gearing up to send them this year. 


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Understand, please, that this is MY project.  There is no way that Tony or any of my children would deign to put pen to paper or Holiday Photo Card for what they view as “no reason.”  Christmas cards exist in mom’s world.  But I can make them all pose for photos.


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They go (mostly) merrily along with me because I bribe them with cookies and I let Charles and Jamie wear whatever they want, as long as it’s clean.  Freddie and Tony wear whatever I want, because they’re biddable.  And Tony probably is thinking the whole time, If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, so just go along with this until it’s over.


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Christmas card season, therefore, aligns with family photo season for the Cooks.  And it’s always an adventure.


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Barf Photo! 


This year I briefly considered having our photos taken at the pool.  Charles and Jamie like to go to family swim at the Y and since our lives are fairly packed, I thought we could combine projects.  They could splash around, I could squeeze into a bathing suit and give Freddie his first taste of chlorine.  But Tony and I are not in the best of shape and I’m just not ready to bare my pasty-white bat-wings to the world (curses on the arm flaps of middle age!).  So I opted for photos at a local garden and nursery featuring over 30 Christmas trees all done up for the holidays. 

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Friends, I’m not getting much sleep these days.  My judgment is weak and clouded.  The logical progression of consequences elude me, but maybe you can figure this out: What do you get when you combine two boy-children, ages 6 and 3, with a large room filled to bursting with Christmas trees, porcelain and glass ornaments, gifts, home and garden decor, and the spirit of Christmas?  The correct answer is chaos, anxiety, and a disturbingly high potential for disaster.


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At one point, I was happily posing for photos with Tony and Freddie, reveling in my gorgeous baby squirming in my arms, when I realized that I could no longer see nor hear Charles and Jamie.  Panic!  I called their names, snaked through displays, fearing the worst, only to find them standing at a running garden fountain, tongues out, licking the water off of the burbling urn.


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We got out lucky.  No one crashed into any trees or decorations.  No one spilled any hot apple cider.  No one tackled his brother.  I’ve yet to see any ill effects from the garden fountain incident.  In fact, the most destructive child was Freddie, who spit up on the floor (I wiped it up, of course, and there was no permanent damage).


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We get our family photos done by a good friend who is a fantastic photographer and owner of JB Expressions.  Thank you, Jen!  If you would like to receive a Christmas card from us this year, please send me your address at aintanda at gmail dot com.  Merry Christmas, everyone!

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