I could write a saga about our annual photo shoot for the Christmas card I endeavor to send to friends and relations each December. One year I actually wrote a poem about it for our “letter.”

This year, I decided to be real and send one of the 40 photos that our niece, Joie, took as we stood on the deck of GrandBob’s house on Bainbridge Island, shortly before consuming a large Thanksgiving dinner. Not the final photo, mind you. Just one of the long string of “process” photos. (Honestly, there wasn’t one that I could call “final” because none of them met with my approval.)

I decided to try to make people laugh this year — to send a sort of spoof on the perfect family photo we all send — to show what it’s really like in our family. I’m not sure everyone got the joke, but kudos to those who did.

Here are five of the best and why four of them didn’t make the cut:

#1 Zack looking away.

#2 Zack with Jay’s glasses on — he doesn’t wear glasses!

#3 Zack with a strange expression on his face — perhaps our best choice. But Gaby is not looking at the camera. So, no go.

#4 Jay looking at Zack. (Probably taken after the one I chose to use.)





“Why this one?” you ask. “Why not?” I answer.

It’s the classic pre-perfect-photo-moment of MOM (that’s me, far left) looking over to make sure everyone looks good, seeing that Zack needs his shirt pulled down, and asking her husband, the DAD (that’s Jay, far right) to adjust things. Zack is irritated by the adjustment, as seen in his face. Cassidy (middle) is halfway between an obedient smile and wondering what the heck is going on in this fairly new family of hers. And Taylor has his classic pose of looking at the camera and smiling no matter what is happening around him look. Gaby is following his example.

It’s perfect. Totally us. The Real Deal of a Christmas Photo. And hopefully one that made a few people smile.

Or maybe it’s just an inside joke that would have been best kept inside.



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