Okay, it has been well established all over the blogosphere, facebook and anywhere else parents are posting pictures that kids and Christmas cards don't mix. And the more kids, pets and family members you want to cram into your photo, the more horrible the whole experience will be. So I'm here to help. My advice? Give the hell up! Seriously they will NEVER EVAH all be looking at the camera and smiling with their eyes open at the same time! But you wanted a cute card? Well then, lets learn to work with what we've got. That is after all every mom's secret.

Here in example one we have one child obsessed with something that is nowhere near the camera. Just make sure the object of affection is in the photo and take the picture anyway. This works best if you have a very young child that you can position to irritate the hell out of an older sibling, cause then it's cuter. Oh and cutesy matching outfits never hurt either.(2003, girls are 7 months and 4 1/2 years old)

Option 2? Good old fashioned bribery! Just give the small whiny kid some candy already. Yes, the sibling will pout for candy too, just color coordinate and go with it. If possible have older children look more angelic by having them "hide" their loot up their sleeve, or behind their back. If all else fails add more pictures to the card (preferably ones taken at some other time during the year when your children actually liked each other) to take some of the attention away from the cheesy smiles and squinty eyes in the official Christmas photo. Again, I'd like to suggest putting them in seasonal matching outfits for an additional distraction. (2004, girls are 18months and 5 1/2 years old)

Then of course there is the "if ya can't beat them, join them" philosophy. Just encourage the shenanigans and build your card around your misbehavin' kiddos. I can not emphasize enough the impact that matching clothing adds to the cute factor. (2005, girls are 2 1/2 and 6 1/2 years old)

Then there are some years (you'll know which ones) it's not even worth the effort of making the tots brush their hair. Don't even attempt it. If you must use photos of them, take pictures of some that you already have framed. Then pile Christmas decorations around them, make up a funny little game or list and call it a card. Done, and DONE! (2006, girls are 3 1/2 and 7 1/2 years old)

Another idea is to use the collage cards that so many companies offer these days. Our Top 11 list was a take off on that idea. Thus using a few good photos (again I advise finding pictures from the entire year, ensuring you'll find at least a few where your kids are not trying to kill each other) and not stressing out over getting one all important picture.

Lastly if you are computer savvy you can photoshop your pictures together like G-man suggested in the previous post. I have no examples of such a thing. Not because I can't do it, although I can't. But hubby can. However, we have so far refrained from such activity because no one likes a show off with kids who appear perfect, even at Christmas. (HA!)


Oh, you are sooooo clever. I love all your past cards. Where were you today when I was snapping away...at the kids and dogs in front of the tree. How boring???
Oh, well it is done.
Great Ideas...maybe next year I will plan ahead...yeah, that's not going to happen either. :)

December 12, 2008 at 6:02 PM  

can you post this again next year?
Around Thanksgiving? Just for ME????

December 12, 2008 at 6:03 PM  

Okay Suz, just remind me next year. :-)

December 12, 2008 at 7:17 PM  

No wonder you're known for your cards. They're great. The kids are cute too!

December 13, 2008 at 12:31 AM  

The idea of family members on Christmas cards hasn't really caught on over here in UK yet, but now folk are getting better at technology I think it will start getting more popular.
First card like it we received came from the US quite a few years, and I think it's a nice approach.
I wouldn't know where to start.

December 13, 2008 at 4:19 AM  

Those are awesome!

December 13, 2008 at 9:08 AM  

Mail your card already!!!!!

December 13, 2008 at 10:31 AM  

All very cute and clever cards. Your girls are adorable.

December 14, 2008 at 2:32 AM  

Oh man! I agree with Busy Bee Suz . . . set this one to auto-post again next year just before Turkey Day ;-)

I coulda used these ideas this year :-)

December 15, 2008 at 11:48 AM  

I'll second "very clever". :) Well done, it has given me several ideas.

December 16, 2008 at 12:28 PM  

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