Before we ended up with what eventually turned out to be the official Christmas card picture, I had to take some test shots. I really liked how last year's picture turned out, but I wanted to make it look like I learned something about how to work the damned camera in the last year. (SPOILER ALERT: I kind of didn't.)
In retrospect, these pictures might actually be better than the official one, somehow. Certainly they capture the essence of Christmas: the chaos, the noise, the color and light. Also, the kid-in-their-pajamas-first-thing-in-the-morning aspect. But when I look at these pictures, I also see something that made them not quite suitable for holiday cards.
Do you see it too?
The uncombed hair, the bags under her eyes, the fuzzy scarf that looks like it was made out of a skinned Muppet? The twinkle in her eye, the smirk, the sort of far-off-into-the-distance look on her face that suggests that maybe she was up to several kinds of no good the night before?
I couldn't use these pictures because -- well, look at them. She looks like the love child of Janis Joplin, Slash, and Mick Jagger, and she looks like she just came off a bender. That is not the sort of image I want to send out to my friends and family at Christmastime.
Even if that is kind of what our life looks like, these days.