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Dante would agree

Dante would agree

November 17, 2006

Today I am entering the Tenth Circle of Hell, otherwise known as taking photos of your children for Christmas cards. Children who act like they have never before had their photo taken. Children who can not seem to manage a “real” smile. Children who can not seem to sit up straight if their life depended on it. Which it does. Children who will wrestle and climb all over each other, but can not bear to touch their sibling in a photo.

God help me.

Posted by Chris @ 9:58 am  

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  1. bluepaintred says:

    oohhhhh. Good Luck. Iof you come home and no one has died, its a good photo

  2. (other) chris says:

    save the outtakes (and of course, we want to see them here!) it’s been 25 years since we started taking kid photos for Christmas, and the old goofy shots seem funnier every year.

  3. Mir says:

    Dude, I can’t get TWO kids to cooperate for a photo. I will pray for you. ;)

  4. Stephanie says:

    i’m laughing remembering your photos from last years Christmas shoot! entertain me pleeeeeeze!! ;o)

  5. Karen Rani says:

    What Mir said. Good luck!

  6. Lilly says:

    I have one word of advice for easing the stress of Christmas card photos - ‘photoshop.’ You don’t have to get them all to smile at once! Take a lot of photos at the same sitting and grab and paste the best smiley face of each into one final photo. (If you want to photoshop and need any help with it, let me know. I’m working on my card right now.)

  7. Cooksonmom says:

    Oh! Good Luck, I will be attempting our Christmas photo with my 3 very soon…

  8. Antique Mommy says:

    I’m worse off than Mir, I can’t even get ONE to cooperate. In the first two years of his life, my child became a one-man vaudeville act everytime I pulled the camera out. Now, he runs away even with offers of access to unlimited M&Ms.

  9. Kristi says:

    Good luck with that one. Just don’t expect perfection, and then it will come.

  10. Jennifer says:

    Best wishes Chris. It really is the worst task of the year.

  11. kelly says:

    Like Lilly says. For about $80, you can buy Photoshop Elements for your computer. This $80 has saved me a whole lot of grief. I make everyone keep their pose and smile for a whole fistful of shots. I shamelessly bribe them with candy. And then I find the best picture of each child and I cut and paste them together, and use the Photoshop magic bandaid to hide the cut and paste lines. Works like a charm… even though our hate-that-camera oldest son’s “best” is never really that good.

  12. Jennifer Wilson says:

    I completely understand. You will have to come read my blog about our Christmas pic this year. You will have to scroll I wrote about it awhile back. Jennifer

  13. jody says:

    This year, I am taking my kids to someone else to have the photos done. Everything you said, and the fact that after the hell of taking them, I have to print them and mail them…..the horror. Dude photographer will take the pics, print them, and all I have to do it put them together and send them.

    It seems like cheating, doncha think?

  14. kerflop says:

    Oh no, it’s that time of year again, isn’t it? Do you think my relatives would object to receiving postcards of Idaho instead?

  15. owlhaven says:


    Yeah, I gotta do that too soon….
    As soon as I figure out what the heck they’ll wear…

  16. InterstellarLass says:

    Yeah. I know the feeling and I only have two. I think I’ll use the ‘funny face’ pictures for my cards anyway, because no one ever sees my kids smile nice.

  17. Sasha says:


    Here I was thinking I was ahead of the curve having outfits for 3 of the kids already. I thought my biggest worry was finding the other 2 that are left outfits.

    But now I see the battle hasn’t even begun.

    Note to self: Must figure out a way to get 5 kids to pose for a picture at once.

  18. Sheryl says:

    I always feel guilty when I look at our Christmas cards, knowing those smiles were coerced with threats of bodily harm, “Look at the camera and smile dammit!” Good times.

  19. Cathy C says:

    I have been attemping this very same thing for the past week! With just 2! Like Sheryl, I too end up using the bodily harm approach. It has worked in the past. Sigh.

  20. Jennifer says:

    Do pictures of their shoes this year. Or their barefeet. Or a mix and match. Easier, and in keeping with this month’s [forgotten?] theme.

  21. Jeff says:

    Pictures are one time when I allow my girls to say forbidden words. Instead of saying cheese, we will all say ‘poop’ and it makes everyone laugh.

  22. Novaks8 says:


    I remember your photos from last year!

    Can’t wait to see this year.

  23. Brigitte says:

    Just use the purple tie-dye picture!

  24. Jennifer says:

    We took ours back in July when we won the Ford Escape…figured that was the biggest news of the year, so we might as well share it :) However, today we are on to a whole ‘nother level…the professional picture. We have an appointment at Picture People at 4. My children are just like yours (thankfully, there are fewer of them). Pray for me.

  25. Jenna says:

    Sounds like a good time, I am sure the pic will turn out wonderfully, good luck.

  26. cassie-b says:

    That doesn’t sound like a fun day to me. I hope you get a good picture, and that you post it.


  27. Jennifer says:

    Can we pretty please see the funny ones???

  28. Stacey says:

    I hope you get a good picture, but sometimes the funny ones are the better ones! Especially when they are the ones that capture your family’s essence! ANYwho, I was in Barnes and Noble the other day and I saw a magazine that I think you might enjoy. Its about helping rise families the organic way, but not all crazy! It is really great and I have been telling everyone I can think of about Kiwi Magazine! It is the best! Check it out!

  29. Playdate Susan says:

    This morning I said to Wade, “We REALLY need to take Christmas pictures this weekend.”

    And he said, “Do we HAVE to?”

    Yes. Because it’s CHRISTMAS, dammit, and Jesus wants pictures of our kids. Amen.

  30. Izzy says:

    Oh cripey…I got so frustrated last year that I took the kids to Sears (another unmapped circle of hell). I’m hoping this year I will get lucky and have at least one decent picture for the cards.

    Good luck :)

  31. Jonathon says:

    I think I’ll be trying that this weekend. I’m gonna go for the action shot, I think. Thus avoiding any of the insanity!!! (I hope)

  32. crunchy carpets says:

    Christ, we don’t even try here….
    We haven’t even done the ‘traditional’ Wal Mart family photos.

  33. Island Girl says:

    I am embarking on the same adventure this weekend.

    Eck .
    Good luck.

  34. HG says:

    I’ve been procrastinating on this particular ring of hell, myself. I hope the Force was with you.

  35. Navhelowife says:

    I agree - trying to get children to all smile at once is the tenth circle.
    What’s trying to shop at Stuff Mart with them? I’m thinking it’s darn near close after our time today, and that was with 3.

  36. Christina says:

    I cheated this year and found a great picture from this summer of all 3 together, I just used that.

  37. Kendra says:

    Ohh the horror! I can see it now. The lady schedules the appointment for 2:00 and you finally get in front of the camera a little after 3:00 with all the kids hair now a mess, spit on the baby’s outfit and the toddler is missing some article of clothing (e.g. shoe, tie ect). I always say I’m going to try to do it at home and it never turns out how I like it. Good Luck! I’m putting it off a little longer!

  38. Finelly says:

    Looking forward to seeing the result!

  39. Mary W says:

    were you sitting next to me at the mall? I was trying to get all three to smile at the same time without putting some one in a head lock. No such luck.

  40. nicki says:

    Your making me feel bad again. Christmas photo card, do I really have to send those, I mean…..please. Not again, not this year. Can’t I just use the same you from last year? Please. I don’t want to do it!!

    Seriously, good luck.

  41. Melanie says:

    Hope you get atleast one good one! I remember your Christmas pictures from last year! I hope you share them again!

  42. Cmommy says:

    We will all be inspired by your heroic effort :-)! I’m taking a page from FamilyFun magazine and photographing an “I Spy” collage of our past year….no live humans or animals involved, lol! Chrissy