It’s Christmastime once again, my better half’s favorite time of year. She enjoys spreading Christmas cheer to everyone around her whether they are feeling it or not. In that festive spirit, it’s time for the Priegue family’s annual exercise in futility — producing our annual Christmas card.
I’ve written about our annual family tradition and considering our history, set the bar low this year. Although Cristian has been gotten into the Christmas spirit, telling us what he wanted from Santa weeks ago, and practicing the puppy dog look to get an extra gift or two from Santa, I’ve been here before. My goal was to get through this Christmas season without drinking too much bourbon. Considering how the last few years reminded me of Lucy holding a football for Charlie Brown, in the Peanuts comic strip, I’m glad I bought the big bottle.
We were working without a net this year. Last year, when we used a picture taken from Cristian’s birthday photo shoot for our card. We didn’t have that luxury this year. I made some beautiful images of our son over the past year, but none screamed Christmas. Drawing on our experience as project managers, Esther and I planned this year’s picture with care.
Esther chose the location and picked the wardrobe. She found a small mall near home called Atlas Park and picked the slowest time of the day. We all wore red tops, in case history repeated itself and we had to jump into the picture with Cristian.
I scouted the route from the parking garage to Santa’s workshop with the same attention to detail the Secret Service uses for the presidential motorcade. Planning for all contingencies, we detoured around toy stores, kiddie rides, or anything guaranteed to bring on a tantrum when we walked past it. I also brought a camera and threw a Festivus pole in the car in case were forced to improvise if the Santa picture didn’t go as planned.
Our fifth time was the charm. Cristian didn’t have his usual deer in the headlights look. I guess seeing countless inflatable Santa throughout our neighborhood prepared him for the real thing. Crouching down and making silly faces gave us the patented 1000 watt smile we wanted.
Riding a winning streak, we went for the daily double. After leaving Santa’s workshop we headed to Home Depot to pick out our Christmas tree. And the tradition continues…