Family Pictures do NOT equal Family Harmony

Dawn Davenport


Parenting: Family Photos

Taking a Christmas photo sometimes takes longer than planned…

Me: OK, today’s the day for Christmas pictures. Go make yourselves beautiful.

Daughter #2: How come you and Dad are never in these pictures?

Me: Someone has to actually take the picture and that someone is me.

Son #1: They invented this magical device, oh say 50 years ago, that let’s you delay the actual shutter click.

Me: You were a lot cuter before you could talk.

Hubby (sensing mutiny): Good idea, we’ll do a family shot this year.

Me: (sending DH the evil eye): Just remember, this isn’t my idea.

Ten minutes later we’re assembled in our front yard with camera on tripod, hair coiffed, and smiles in place.  Son #1 volunteers to set up the shot using that new fangled delay gizmo and run back to get in the picture.

Take 1

Son #1 reviewing the finished shot: Not bad, but Mom and W (brother) need to open their eyes.

Take 3

Daughter #1 reviewing: Mom, next time, just look …normal.

Take 6  for-blog

Daughter #1 and Son #1: Mom and W, just try to look close to normal.

Son #2 (W): I am looking normal.

Daughter #1: By normal, we mean open eyes and mouth resembling a smile rather than a grimace.

Son #2: I’m feeling the pretty coming on.  Let’s do it.

Take 10

DH: The game is starting in 20 minutes, so maybe we should just settle for one we already have.

Me: (Resending the evil eye) Maybe we shouldn’t.

Take 12

Daughter #2: Mom, when you feel your face going all weird and wonky,  just…well, just stop.

Me: On what planet do you think that advice would be helpful???

Her: Well, that’s what I do and it seems to be working pretty good for me.

Take 14

Me and Son #2: (fist bumping) We can do this!!! Next one’s it!

Take 16

Daughter #2: Can I go find one of the cats to be in the picture?

Everyone else: No!

Take 17

Daughter #1: You know, it’s uncanny, but Dad, H (Brother #1) and L (sister) look great in every picture.

P, H, and L (Fist bumping and doing an obnoxious victory dance)

Take 18

DH: Did I mention that it was the Cowboys and that they’re kicking off right about now?

Me: Did I mention that it wasn’t my idea to take a family picture?

DH: Did I mention that I didn’t think it was going to take an hour?

Me: Did I ment…

Kids: OK, you two stop bickering!

Son #2: I’m feeling good about this one. Let’s do it.

Take 20

Son #1: OK, great one of Mom and good of everyone else except W, who looks constipated.

Daughter #2: That’s how he normally looks.

Me: Oh well, I guess this is as good as we’ll get.

Son #2: HEY, I thought we were in this together.

Take 22

Daughter #2: I see a cat. Can’t I go get him?for blog 2

Everyone else: NO!

Take 23

Son #1: You know Mom, you really aren’t a bad looking lady—for your age. I just don’t understand why you can’t look that way for the camera.

Everyone else: *Audible gasp*

Son #1: What I meant was…

DH: Son, trust me, the best you can do at this point is shut up.

Take 27

DH: Christmas card pictures are so 2008.  It almost seems irresponsible given the current economic climate.  Let’s send a message of frugality and skip the picture this year.

Take 29

Son #1: Darn (or something close), it’s good of everyone, except Sister #1 has her hand in front of her face.

Me: Works for me.  Let’s call it a wrap.

Daughter #1: MOM!

Take 30

Daughter #1 and Son #1: Hey, everyone has their eyes open and something close to a smile. Unfortunately, the dog’s butt is facing the camera and Dad looks like he’s strangling her.

In Unison: Who cares?!?!  We’re done.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Family pictures do NOT equal family harmony.
  2. Only the photographically challenged get a vote on final selection.
  3. It is NOT abnormally vain, as some have insinuated, to want to look something other than demented in a picture that is going to be shared with friends and family that haven’t seen me in years.
  4. It is NOT helpful to tell someone to “just look normal”.


Image credit: heymrlady

08/12/2009 | by Dawn Davenport | Categories: Adoption, Adoption Blog, Blog | 19 Comments

19 Responses to Family Pictures do NOT equal Family Harmony

  1. Avatar Tracy O'Mara Whitney says:

    Love it. Am linking to it for my Christmas Fun on Friday post – so classic.

  2. Classic indeed, Dawn. Thanks for sharing it. I got a good laugh!

  3. Love it. Am linking to it for my Christmas Fun on Friday post – so classic.

  4. If you guys have a few seconds, I'd love for you to leave these comments on the blog itself at

  5. Avatar Erin Inghram says:

    Oh this is classic! I just love it!

  6. Ann-Marie, actually it will be. I'm all for recycling.

  7. THAT should be your entire Christmas letter.

  8. Avatar Jean MacLeod says:

    Dawn, this vignette is a Christmas Classic. I think you should include it with every photo card you send!

  9. Oh, this is a great story. Glad I have only one child and no husband. LOL

  10. Avatar Joan says:

    Thank you! I really enjoyed this post. I was laughing so hard I was crying! LOL

  11. My link is going up for Friday morning! Thanks for sharing the good humor . . . I posted some funny ones of tree hunting on my FB page tonite.

  12. Avatar Ann-Marie says:

    Dawn, my first response was to be thankful that I have one child and no husband. Then I thought that you should just send that out as your entire Christmas letter. No other details about your year are necessary as everyone in the family is functioning well~

    • Avatar Dawn says:

      Humm, functioning yes; “well” I’m not so sure. 🙂 Actually, this will be our Christmas letter this year and I’m sending a card with on big picture that Son #2 and I agreed on and then 3 pics with me and him looking less than stellar.

  13. Avatar Erin says:

    This is a classic!

  14. Oh my word. This is one of the funniest posts on the topic that I have read in a long while. If it’s okay with you, I’m going to link to it and share the giggles. Not that I am laughing AT you. I’m laughing WITH you. 😛

  15. Avatar Cathy G. says:

    Hilarious!! Having just taken my daughter’s Christmas pictures this past weekend, I can totally empathize, and that was just trying to get one 6-year-old to follow directions and give a nice smile! Now, however, Dawn, we need to see your final results!! Can you post whatever picture you liked the best for us to see your lovely family?
    Cathy 😉

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