Sunday, January 03, 2016

Warm Wishes

Remember that time we went to California for a fun family vacation and I did what I do best by turning the trip into a chance to use the "exotic" location for family pictures? You don't remember that? Well my family does. And they will forever hold it against me. But look how cute!
SERIOUSLY! Heart melt. To preserve your innocent opinion of this picture, we won't tell you the means we used to produce those smiles. My boys always smile that naturally and in the same direction while holding still. No tooting noises necessary. I don't know where you got that idea.
So there we were. Out in the sand, not allowed to play in the sand, on our family vacation getting pictures taken like champs. And everyone endured it because they're telling themselves, "We know mom does this once a year. We can put up with this once a year. Let's just get this over with and be done with it for a whole year..."

Then we get home and I see the pictures and I'm like. Those are awesome. I love them. They're the best. And before I know it, Christmas card season is upon us and I'm like, "We have cute matching outfits from the wedding, we can't have BEACH pictures on our Christmas cards. Let's do Christmas family pictures!"

MUCH to my surprise, no one was on board with that idea. Jeff quickly informed me of his strict 1-cooperative-photo-shoot-a-year rule, and he was not going to fall for my efforts to convince him otherwise.

Unfortunately for my boys, they could not escape the dreams I had built up in my mind for our Christmas card this year so easily. I piled them all in the car for a photo shoot in the snow on a sleigh. Only problem was...there was no snow.

We drove all around our neighboring cities in a hunt for snow. I was wandering through a random neighborhood when I found one tiny patch of snow with a green background. I screeched the Yukon to a halt, unloaded all three boys and frantically snapped as many pictures as possible before the neighborhood grew too suspicious.

Unconvinced I got a good shot, we went back by our house to attempt a few pictures there. No bueno.

I bribed the kids into going with me by telling them they could go sledding when we found snow. Unfortunately, the only snow we found was on a flat patch of grass, but they had fun running and jumping onto their sleds.

Lincoln and I stayed cozy with snuggles and selfies.

As I looked through the pictures from the day, I found a winner. With a little photoshopping to blur in the snow and a quick head swap for Eli, I had the perfect picture to go with what I thought was a hilariously clever title for our Christmas card -- "The Excells and Sleigh-oh."

I proudly put the cards in the mail, beaming at my success getting such a cute shot of the boys and tickled pink by my play on words. I was sure it would all be a hit.

Two days later, the texts started rolling in. "I don't get your card." They said. "WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?" They screamed. "Who is sleigh-oh?" They wondered.

There were a total of two people who understood the card without explanation. This card caused marital riffs as couples debated the meaning of it. This card that was supposed to bring joy, happiness and laughter instead caused its recipients to lose sleep due to confusion. It was a riddle without an answer key. It was an unrecognizable Mad Gab. It was my flop of the year. Delivered straight to your mailbox.

Thankfully the boys were a-dorable -- saving me from total embarrassment.

But for those of you who may still be wondering, "What the heck did the Excell's card mean this year?!?" Please sing the chorus of "Angles We Have Heard on High" with me:

"Glooooo-ooooo-oo-ooooo-oo-ooooo-ria...The Excells and Sleigh-Oh"

Funny, right? Okay. Even Jeff said "It's a stretch," so I've come to terms with the fact that a Christmas card is not the place to try to be funny and clever and cute. I GET IT! See if I ever try to bring unconventional Christmas cheer to you again.

So next year when our card just says, "Have a Generic Merry Christmas," you should know that you did this to me. You didn't appreciate my humor and whit and cleverness and now you'll get a template-ed Christmas card that EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS. Because apparently THAT'S the kind of thing people want from a Christmas card.

And to top it all off, after I heard everyone was confused by our card, Jeff and I went to look at template-ed cards and found one that said, "Warm Wishes" with a picture of a family AT A BEACH!

I nearly fell to the ground. The WHOLE reason I made us take pictures again was because I thought it would be lame to have beach Christmas card pictures, but "Warm Wishes" would have been adorable and clever with our beach pictures and would have saved me a heck of a lot of driving around and coordinating outfits and would have saved you a heck of a lot of head scratching, but I found it a week too late. I almost cried.

Anyway. There's my most embarrassing moment of 2015. In print. On your refrigerator.


Kim said...

This was just what I needed this morning--some great photos, an awesome commentary and lots of laughs. Such a funny post of your most embarrassing moment of 2015. In print. On your refrigerator. LOVED IT!!

LC said...

hahaha. i love this post. and you.
lincoln couldn't be any cuter. man. that face!!!

Rebecca said...

Haha! Love the helmeted Eli sledding. Safety first at all times!

Great story about the Christmas card debacle. You are such a funny storyteller.