Even if the wreath is on the door, the gift buying has commenced and the Christmas Shortbread dough is in the freezer waiting to be baked- the season really begins for me when the first Christmas Card arrives! One of life’s sweetest gifts are those family photographs taken months before and made into Family Christmas Cards! Over the years they’ve become cherished memories. We are blessed to be on the Christmas Card list of surely the World’s Most Beautiful Families. Sometimes the cards come with a winter scene of a nice young couple,  a beautiful baby, tiny sisters or even a poignant photograph of a young girl with red shoes that is worthy of it’s own portrait.

Sometimes the cards come with gold foil lined envelopes and heavy beautiful card stock. Some cards are of a vintage scene. Some have a photograph of the cute family pets or of a child sitting with Santa Claus. Some are whimsical beribboned and hand painted.

I love them all! It’s been a tradition for years, to save up the Christmas Cards. On Christmas Day, we look at them, exclaim about how nice it was to get them; then, I enjoy making a call or writing a thank you note that we’ve been kept on the list for the beautiful Family Christmas Cards.   I have to admit for various reasons- as much as I thoroughly enjoy receiving Christmas Cards and am forever grateful to receive these wonderful cards;  except for One Rare Occasion I’ve never gotten my own act together to send out Christmas Cards. image

Why? because- Our Family Photograph Christmas Card was never a reality. We simply never came up with a decent card worthy family photograph– there is always-

  • one who is the deer in the headlights
  • or blinked at the inopportune moment
  • or who wore the wrong thing
  • stood the wrong way
  • or was the odd one out-
  • was the only one who had on sunglasses or didn’t
  • always statements like –‘You can’t send that one!’
  • It’s sort of horrifying actually.

Now, Southerners are big on heritage and lineage- it’s almost biblical to keep the family tree going with at the very least a church directory photograph! And here we are without a decent Family Photograph, for posterity. Several years ago, we had received an inordinate amount of the World’s Most Beautiful Family Christmas Cards! I came up with a plan- I would send out our very own Family Photograph Christmas Card. We had been to Colorado Springs over Thanksgiving, stayed at the beautiful Broadmoor Hotel, even met Reba McIntyre, and had fun on a Sleigh Ice Sculpture! Very Scenic, lots of fun.


We took a trip up the Broadmoor’s Cog Railway to Pike’s Peak, where a kind soul took a Family Photograph. We all had one thing in common- we all looked awful.   I found the kind of photo cards you insert beautiful family photographs in; I had a dozen photographs done up in black and white to make the World’s Ugliest Family Photograph look even worse and hoped folks who received them would  get a good laugh. Lively Holiday Greetings were written on each -ending with ‘This is the Best Family Photograph we could come up with!’


I hate to inflict this awful photograph on you- it actually did evoke a good bit of laughter! So,  if you are struggling with all of the Christmas Card, Gift buying and Holiday rush- Inject some laughter into it! I think the new term is to have a Scruffy Christmas! 


Unlike all Southern tales- which are part truth, part myth and part outright lies- this one is the whole truth– after all, Santa is keeping that list!

Love y’all, Camellia

* All photographs are from our personal collection, either loaned to Camellia’s Cottage or sadly taken by me- and should not be used without permission.

15 thoughts on “Christmas Cards!

    1. a kindred soul! I think the mistake here also might have been- just one person should have picked- group effort? umhmm one of my daughters and I totally cracked up every time we had family photos done- we embarrassed the photographer!

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      1. Lol! The very first photos I had done of my oldest were a complete bomb. She was about 3 months old, screamed the entire time, and was red all over. I ordered fifty business card sized prints anyway. Ha ha! Priceless.

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  1. I lived next door to a perfect family many years ago. One year the photo was of a trail ride out west. Everyone had on a plaid shirt (same plaid) and was on horseback (that’s 2 adults and 4 kids). All the smiles were perfect. Next year it was a Hawaiian trip — all white tee shirts with leis and perfect smiles. Then there was the botanical gardens. I moved and stopped getting the cards (which I really missed because the enclosed epistle caught me up with all they were doing). Doesn’t work like that in my family. The one and only year I did a photo was of my cats. Three separate pics linked together because they refused to be photographed together. You are not alone. That pictures isn’t bad by the way! Looks like everyone is having fun and isn’t that what it’s all about?

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    1. Oh I love it Kate! here’s the kicker, my husband was a judge in our county for 20 years, his father 14 before that – so we were used to having photographs taken but whenever we tried to do a posed one – it just tickled us all- it would be awful! anyway- you would think we would have learned how to pose! ha! individually we could do it- but together it was a mess! That is also one of the reasons I didn’t send out cards b/c where do you start and stop in a whole county full of people you love? I actually love the Pike’s Peak pic- we were freezing! and I do love to joke around- we have cats too and like us- they will be posed beautifully until…someone wants to take a photo!

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  2. So funny!! World’s most Awful FAmily Photo sounds like a competiotion I should enter! I’d be a contender, I tell ya! A contender!
    Thanks for cheering me up, as always!
    Those first pix are so gorgeous! But, you are knew that! I want those red shoes!

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  3. Love this!!! We struggled to send out photo cards this year as well; our Christmas photo was so bad (baby crying, my head cut off at the forehead, toddler pouting, etc) but not terrifying enough that it didn’t qualify as a Worst Family Photograph. We chose decent summer photos and called it a job. And now i remember why I prefer buying cards with a lovely snowy scene on them….

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