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The Other Side of Perfect

You know how it is.

All you want, for the love of God, is one family photo. One sweet family photo where everyone smiles and looks lovely towards the camera. Is this too much to ask, people? I mean for Christ's sake, it's Christmas.

Sometimes we succeed and no big damage is done. Other times we succeed and everyone feels like crap. Like the year I positively tortured my then husband and kindergartener into their Christmas best for The Nutcracker, the best holiday photo op ever.  Or the time I marched my then preschooler and toddler for the Santa shoot that played more like a horror show than a friendly visit.

Thank God we get older and a little wiser.  Thank God we each year have the chance to lay down our perfectionism and take the shot of the way things really are...chaotic and out-of-sync and irregular and real.  

This photo you see above? Someone called for a crazy/silly face and there you have it. Eighteen people fully alive in the frame. Eighteen people who have been struggling to be together for so many years now that we didn't have the heart to even try to pull off a giant family holiday after the last time until now.  Eighteen people who decided that maybe they could manage a three hour dinner that turned into a photo shoot that turned into mayhem that turned into bliss.

Because isn't this what the holidays are about after all?  The miracle that we can somehow keep loving each other even when nothing is perfect? The miracle that we somehow keep coming together even when we don't know how to handle how different we are? Even if we can barely understand how fierce and irrational the glue that keeps our love together?

Today after you manhandle everyone into their Christmas best, after you get the shot you were waiting for, ask for everyone's silly face. Then put that photo in a frame.  Slap it on your fridge, on the mantle, wherever you'll see it most often.  

This is the other side of perfect, and it's the reason why your family is so fantastically unlike any other family on the planet.  It's the reason why you love these people. And why your love, year after year, remains so amazing and true.

Comments are all yours kitty kats. Show us your crazy family today.  Shots from all cameras, mobile or otherwise welcome.

Reader Comments (4)

We always throw in some silly ones when we take family portraits - & those are the ones that end up in our calender, to hang in our kitchen.

at the bottom of this post { } you can see last year's photo :)
December 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVickie
Oh I totally know what you are talking about --- totally went through this with my family on Christmas day. We often do a "funny" one after we get the good one -- sort of a reward.
December 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLori M
I love family photos like this. It is so hard to get a good one of everyone. I also like ones where everyone is looking at each other, it makes it easier to get a shot that looks "put together" instead of the inevitable photo bomb.
January 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmber Dollison
I keep waiting for a more current blog post...
February 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkatiegrey

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