"Smile," you shout through gritted teeth...but, you're actually thinking: "SMILE, DA** IT!"
"You're having FUN," you suggest desperately. "Look at the FUN you're having!"
Shooting a good holiday card can be a grueling, bang-your-head-against-the-wall activity in December, a time when we moms have eight million things to buy, cook and decorate.
Oftentimes, we get just the right conditions...snow, sunlight, a snuggle in Santa's lap....yet those cute kiddos fail to cooperate.
But, never fear. I fancy myself a passionate amateur photographer, with a specialty in capturing kids' best moments. Regardless of this funny sequence courtesy of my youngest son, Ben, I usually get a great picture for my holiday card. Make no mistake, it takes effort. And, I am about to share the secrets of my success.
First, take your camera...and sit the kids in a gorgeous spot...then, place your husband, mother, friend -- whoever -- behind you.
Put your camera on the sports setting...so that with one click of the finger, you can fire off about ten shots.
Then, have your companion read a list of new kids' jokes you've printed off the internet....like these.
They can be silly animal questions or even knock-knock jokes.
Here are two of our favorites:
What kind of shoes do mice wear?
What do you get when you cross a bear with a skunk?
Winnie The P.U.
Your kids will be occupied, engaged, laughing...while you click away (on the sports setting, remember).
I can almost guarantee that you will end up with a happy, natural photo.
Have you taken your picture yet? Have you ordered your cards?
How do you make your creation?
Please, add to the conversation...and share your tips for success.