For the past two years I've done a Christmas Portrait of Quinn for the card. In 2006, when he was 7 months old, I dressed him as an elf. In 2007 we decided that further costuming might promote further therapy sessions as a teenager, so instead I dressed him in his Christmas best. Both were challenging and both had some very unexpected results.
This year, now that he is going on three, I thought things would (again!) be a little different. New house, better lighting, more directable... but no. With the move and our schedules and whatnot, we only had one afternoon to do this, after naptime, between 3 and 5 before the light totally faded. I'm battling a monster bug that will not go away; as I write this it's been almost a week and I still have a hot water bottle pressed to my ear and I'm now coughing up unspeakable horrors. I feel like crap... and was in no mood yesterday to argue with a figity toddler. As it was, most of yesterday (our only day together this week) was "here's your breakfast, here's the tv, here's Mommy dying on the couch". You can feel the magic. can't you?
Quinn didn't get up from his nap until 3:30, which ate into our primo light time. I wrestled him into an outfit that I thought might work well and brought him downstairs to the tree. I explained to him what was going on and he seemed contented with that... momentarily. Then it became obvious that he thought this was a new game that I'd like to call "Let's make Mommy Blow an Aneurysm".
Simple directions such as "look happy!" and "blow me a kiss" only encouraged him.
It was torture at the time, but once I topped up my meds and sat down to edit I started to laugh uncontrollably. In the last year he has developed quite the personality. I also found a few gems that would not make it as the card, but are special nevertheless. Every year I wonder why I do this to myself, and every year I am rewarded with images like these:
I managed to get THE ONE and send it off to the printers last night... but I'm saving that little surprise for later. You can find the whole Christmas Outtakes set on my Flickr sets page.
I hope your Holiday preparations are going well... now if you don't mind, I'm going back to bed.