Ah, the holidays.
Time for people to take pictures. Lots of pictures. And upload them to Facebook. With the addition of smaller-statured family members, I’ve learned to appreciate this practice, this tradition, more and more each year.
It’s come to my attention that with each new cherub, the quality and quantity of pictures change, as do the subjects.
Here are the things I’ve noticed:
Of the Christmas Tree:
No Kids: Picture of glowing tree. Shih-Tzu sitting beneath, wearing a festive red collar, one ear cocked, listening for Santa’s sleigh.
One Kid: Glowing, fancily decorated Christmas tree. Twinkling lights. Expensive (or expensive-looking) ornaments. Coordinating decorations all around. Child nowhere to be found.
Two Kids: Two children sitting at the base of the tree, smiling.
Three or More Kids: Tree surrounded by a baby gate, in a pack n’ play, only decorated at the top.
No Kids: There may be no picture with Santa, except for the exhibitionists in Santa hats on their significant others’ laps.
One Kid: Smiling, missing-toothed child, sitting proudly on Santa’s lap.
Two Kids: One smiling, one frowning.
Three Kids: Cell phone pic of Santa wrestling with two children, red-faced and crying, while the third rolls around on the floor.
More than Three Kids: No.
Of Outdoor Displays:
No Kids: Tasteful white light display. Coordinating window candles. Matching fresh wreaths.
One Kid: Colored lights in moderate quantities. They may blink.
Two Kids: Bordering on one too many plastic candy canes.
Three or More Kids: Shield your eyes!
Of Christmas Morning:
No Kids: Snuggling. Puppies. Jewelry.
One Kid: Beaming child atop a heap of name-brand toys. (High five!!)
Two Kids: Groggy children playing quietly with their own toys, still exhausted from being up all night.
Three or More Kids: Despite the enormous pile of presents under the tree, they are all trying to unwrap the same box.
Of Christmas Day:
No Kids: Couple sitting together on a relative’s couch. One is holding up a cheese board and smiling.
One Kid: Child dressed in special holiday garb, potentially a sweater with snowflakes or a ruffled dress. Child is clean and combed.
Two Kids: Coordinating Christmas outfits.
Three Kids: Dress missing a jacket, tights with dirty knees hanging off at the feet. Hair bow on the ground outside. White button-down covered in tomato sauce. Third screaming because his shoes don’t fit.
More than Three Kids: Pajamas. All day.
Of Christmas Dinner:
No Kids: Crown rack of lamb. Vegetables identifiable by shape and color. Desserts with curlicues on them. Specialty coffee.
One Kid: Ham or Turkey. Identifiable vegetables. Jubilee Roll.
Two Kids: Chicken. Frozen mixed vegetables. Sugar cookies. Piles of sugar cookies.
Three or More Kids: We just don’t take pictures of that.
Of Christmas Night:
No Kids: No pictures, unless you count the ones from the club.
One Kid: L’il Slugger tucked up with his new Build-a-Bear, in his new jammies, on his new sheet set, peacefully sleeping. Caption: “Little Jimmy had such a full day!”
Two Kids: Asleep on the couch, in new fleece pajamas, in the grey glow of It’s a Wonderful Life.
Three or More Kids: Asleep on the floor, dried food on faces. One’s still holding a giant Hershey’s kiss he’s been nursing for the past four hours. Still dressed in their “holiday best.” Don’t touch them!
The Next Day:
No Kids: Outdoor ice skating, drinking cocoa from a styrofoam cup.
One Kid: (Bonus! Video!) L’il Slugger riding his Power Wheels up and down the driveway in 25 degree weather.
Two Kids: In the living room in pajamas. The floor is still littered with yet-to-be-opened toys.
Three or More: The children are beating one another about the face and neck with their new toys. No one’s seen the camera since last night.
Don’t believe me? Let’s talk on December 26.
Photo Credit: gaijinbiker.
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