Even if the wreath is on the door, the gift buying has commenced and the Christmas Shortbread dough is in the freezer waiting to be baked- the season really begins for me when the first Christmas Card arrives! One of life’s sweetest gifts are those family photographs taken months before and made into Family Christmas Cards! Over the years they’ve become cherished memories. We are blessed to be on the Christmas Card list of surely the World’s Most Beautiful Families. Sometimes the cards come with a winter scene of a nice young couple, a beautiful baby, tiny sisters or even a poignant photograph of a young girl with red shoes that is worthy of it’s own portrait.
Sometimes the cards come with gold foil lined envelopes and heavy beautiful card stock. Some cards are of a vintage scene. Some have a photograph of the cute family pets or of a child sitting with Santa Claus. Some are whimsical beribboned and hand painted.
I love them all! It’s been a tradition for years, to save up the Christmas Cards. On Christmas Day, we look at them, exclaim about how nice it was to get them; then, I enjoy making a call or writing a thank you note that we’ve been kept on the list for the beautiful Family Christmas Cards. I have to admit for various reasons- as much as I thoroughly enjoy receiving Christmas Cards and am forever grateful to receive these wonderful cards; except for One Rare Occasion I’ve never gotten my own act together to send out Christmas Cards.
Why? because- Our Family Photograph Christmas Card was never a reality. We simply never came up with a decent card worthy family photograph– there is always-
- one who is the deer in the headlights
- or blinked at the inopportune moment
- or who wore the wrong thing
- stood the wrong way
- or was the odd one out-
- was the only one who had on sunglasses or didn’t
- always statements like –‘You can’t send that one!’
- It’s sort of horrifying actually.
Now, Southerners are big on heritage and lineage- it’s almost biblical to keep the family tree going with at the very least a church directory photograph! And here we are without a decent Family Photograph, for posterity. Several years ago, we had received an inordinate amount of the World’s Most Beautiful Family Christmas Cards! I came up with a plan- I would send out our very own Family Photograph Christmas Card. We had been to Colorado Springs over Thanksgiving, stayed at the beautiful Broadmoor Hotel, even met Reba McIntyre, and had fun on a Sleigh Ice Sculpture! Very Scenic, lots of fun.
We took a trip up the Broadmoor’s Cog Railway to Pike’s Peak, where a kind soul took a Family Photograph. We all had one thing in common- we all looked awful. I found the kind of photo cards you insert beautiful family photographs in; I had a dozen photographs done up in black and white to make the World’s Ugliest Family Photograph look even worse and hoped folks who received them would get a good laugh. Lively Holiday Greetings were written on each -ending with ‘This is the Best Family Photograph we could come up with!’
I hate to inflict this awful photograph on you- it actually did evoke a good bit of laughter! So, if you are struggling with all of the Christmas Card, Gift buying and Holiday rush- Inject some laughter into it! I think the new term is to have a Scruffy Christmas!
Unlike all Southern tales- which are part truth, part myth and part outright lies- this one is the whole truth– after all, Santa is keeping that list!
Love y’all, Camellia
* All photographs are from our personal collection, either loaned to Camellia’s Cottage or sadly taken by me- and should not be used without permission.