Christmas in September - But It's a Dry September

It could be worse. We could be sending out this card.

I’ve shared with you our practice of taking a family photo for our Christmas cards every year. It’s fun for the whole family. And by whole family I mean me. And by fun I mean not at all fun.

Last year, you saw the result - a picture of three kids with so much hate in their eyes, they would have all gotten a Chia head for Christmas if so much time hadn’t passed before I started shopping.

This year we’re adding another element into an already painful process - triple digit temperatures. We’re having a family photo taken in Phoenix, because it’s where we’ll be during the only 6 hours during which our entire family will be all together in the same room/parking lot/restaurant/hotel lobby/desert canyon for the next year.

It will be the end of September and we may have to Photoshop out the squiggly lines of radiating heat coming up from the ground. Some poor sucker is going to draw the Santa hat straw. We may have to prop each other up. We may have to pack our feet in ice. But we’re taking a family picture because that’s what we do.

When the kids were little, before the inventions of digital photography and a work ethic at Walgreens, it used to take weeks to get photo Christmas cards made. It took me more weeks to get the envelopes addressed and write little notes in each one. (“Come visit! We’re bored silly with one another!”) So we took the Christmas card photo in late summer. You’ve seen those age enhanced photos of missing children? I toyed with the idea of age-enhancing my kids’ faces because they were nearly unrecognizable by the time people received our card in December.

I’d dress the kids up in sweaters and once we even got a fire going in the fireplace. If there was a baby that year, he screamed from wearing wool. If there was a toddler, he cried because we had to tell him that no, Santa isn’t coming tonight. Pay no attention to those stockings hanging behind you. They go right back into the closet after this photo session. We’re going to the pool as soon as I peel the double-knit and Velour off of our skin.

For this year’s photo, we probably won’t be able to lug along our tripod, so some poor Phoenician is going to have to do the honors. If you’re reading this and are going to be in Arizona between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. that day, look for us: We’ll be the ones in the red and green sweaters and scarves.

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