My calendar still says August. And I think that says a lot about who I am as a person. It might also explain why I finally thought I got my act together after almost 8 years of marriage and sent out our very first Christmas card this year and then promptly ran out of them. As I was choosing how many I wanted to order, I was like, “50? I don’t even like 50 people.” But it turns out that I actually do like 50 people. Even more than that and it became a problem when I realized that I only had a few left and many more people I wanted to send one to.
I knew I wanted to send out an unconventional Christmas card, but I needed some inspiration. I took to Pinterest and kept coming up short. Too cheesy. Too santa-y. Too not enough animals. But then I stood at our sheep shelter and told Dan we basically had the manger scene going on. Mary, Joseph, a baby boy, and some livestock. Dan asked me if Nova was part of that scene and I before I could answer, he reasoned that, “Nah probably not in Greek but most definitely in The Message Translation.” So while we didn’t recreate the manger scene with a Tripod and Nova rolling in something nasty in the background, I did feel inspired to dress my son up as a shepherd whether he liked it or not.
And he really, really did NOT like it. I’m not saying he fell and scraped up his face on purpose a few days before to try and get out of the photo shoot, but I kind of am because he totally did. But I was determined that as many times as he ripped the shepherd head dress off (which was always the length of time it took to adjust it, back 2 steps away, squat down, and get ready to click) I would keep putting it back on that perfectly round head of his. I also made the rookie mistake of letting him play with the shepherd crook AKA a cane from goodwill the day before, so then it was yesterday’s news when I handed it to him in the sheep pasture and he tossed it aside like it was one of his other expensive, only good for 10 seconds toys.
Bargaining with your 15 month old who doesn’t understand the concept of, “later,” is pointless and dumb, but bet your bottom dollar it didn’t stop me from trying. I pleaded with him that if he just held the STINKING cane and smiled pretty and maybe pet the sheep gently as a shepherd would and moved a little to the left I would give him unlimited yogurt melts later. I’m certain that if he was coordinated enough he would’ve given me the finger in that moment.
Thankfully we got a few good ones to work with. And although I had originally envisioned a slightly different scene for the card, overall I was really happy I got a photo where at least my kid looked like, “Merry Christmas,” and not, “I hate everything.” It was fun to get family and friends feedback. I got everything from, “It was the best Christmas card I ever received,” to “How did you get that goat to get so close to Nathan?”
Note: It’s not a goat.
And how did we get the sheep that close? We buried sheep feed in Nathan’s lap because I am a desperate mom and I really didn’t care if my baby smelled like a sheep so long as I got the picture right. And I’m pretty sure, “Your mom is cray,” is indeed what the little lamb said to the shepherd boy.
So I am really sorry if your beautiful face has been hung up in my house and my son with a towel on his head, half a Yoda costume and a smelly farm animal is not in yours. But let’s be real, *most* of you will end up throwing it in the garbage on January 1st when you take down the string of Christmas photos strewn across your mantle. Besides I think think these unedited, raw images might be better than the actual card anyway.
Hope you all had a very merry Christmas!