Pretty Little Liars

I never told you the story about how we ended up with this year's Christmas card picture. Probably because it involved bribery, subterfuge, jerry-rigging, and outright lying. And also, I barely got away with it, so it definitely wasn't one of my proudest moments as a parent.

I tried to learn from last year's photo shoot. I really did. I made a mental list of all the things that drove me nuts last year -- the not sitting still, the general unpreparedness, the chaos. More than half an hour before I started taking pictures of my actual kid, I rearranged some furniture beforehand, switched some ornaments around, took pictures of just the tree, tested angles and lines and foci and lighting.

Except, I lost a part to my tripod, so I had to try to do all those things with the camera balanced on a precarious configuration of boxes, toy bins, shoes, and keys. It worked out about as well as can be expected. Well, better, I suppose, since I managed to avoid both breaking the camera and setting anything on fire.

When it finally came time to sit Shae down to take the actual pictures, I had everything ready. The chair was in place, I had all the props -- all one of them -- ready to go, and I had my Big Fat Lie all set up.

"Shae, I want to take pictures of the Christmas tree, and I need you to sit in this chair so I can test the light, okay?" And here is the true Christmas Miracle of the season: SHE ACTUALLY BOUGHT IT. She sat in that chair and moved when I asked her to and posed like a pro for 293 FRAMES before she caught on, and by that point we had it narrowed down to four possible photos.

Xmas Card 2011

I gave G the final vote, and as you can see, we went with the fourth picture above. All in all, I am very happy with how our cards turned out this year. And if you're not already on the list and you want one, send me an email or DM me on Twitter and I'll get one out to you, too.

Happy Holidays, yo. Sparkle and shine, and all that.

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