Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Card Fail

Greetings and Happy New Year from the Tyson & Lisa Heaton Family! As most of you know, I struggled with sending my 2009 Christmas cards. This year I didn't even make the slightest attempt, beyond half-heartedly asking my sister to send me a copy of a family photo she took of our little troop back in July. I had the vague idea I might use the photo for a Christmas card, despite the fact that it was taken in the middle of the summer and we're all in white, khaki, and pastels. Pretty lame, huh? Everyone knows Christmas card pictures are supposed to look like this:

That's my sister Kara's family, by the way. and I'm 98% sure she took this photo herself, using a timer and/or remote-controlled shutter. That's way beyond me and my camera. Taking a non-blurry photo is way beyond me and my camera. I briefly considered Photoshopping my own family members' faces onto Kara's family photo, but three things held me back.

You might be thinking my lack of Photoshop skills would be one of the dealbreakers, but you'd be wrong. I do know how to work with layers, and I'm aware of (if not able to execute) a couple different methods for whitening teeth and removing pimples. So switching individuals' faces should be easy enough. I'm pretty sure my end product would have been AWESOME. Not at all something that would end up on Photoshop Disasters.

No, the first two dealbreakers are the two extra children this photo includes, as compared to my family. Do I cover the extras up with snow or bushes or extra ivy creeping up from the bottom, or by "making the logo bigger"? (Any of these options could look really good.) Run actions to further distress and antique-ify the photo, to the point that two of the children cannot be discerned because of all the "texture"? (It's already kinda heading that way, isn't it?) Include two photos of each of my children? (Could give the mistaken impression that I have cloned them, or that I have been concealing their twins all this time.) Just leave two of Kara's kids in the picture? (But which two? I know which ones I think are the best, but I'd rather not reveal that information at this juncture.) Of these options, I think out-of-control ivy has the most promise, but it's not even worth discussing, because of...

The third dealbreaker. This is the one that really matters. I don't actually have Photoshop. I do have Photoshop Elements, but it turns out it's not currently loaded on this computer (or our other computer, for that matter). So what am I left with? Ummm...MS Paint. Whoa, way too much work and trouble just to give my sister a laugh/expression of chagrin! I'll leave the MS Paint to experts like Allie from Hyperbole and a Half. (That link goes to one of my favorites, about the Alot; you can find another of my favorites, a very applicable favorite, about trying to be an adult, is here.)

Since I still didn't get my summer family photo from my sister (ahem!), you'll get a substitute Christmas photo instead. Unfortunately, I only have two pictures from all of 2010 that include all four of us. They've both already appeared on this blog, and Beck happens to be trapped in the stroller in both of them. The better of the two is this one at the beach. In the one at Independence Hall, only the top of Beck's head is visible. Since I don't have any workable whole-family photos, I'll give you what I've got. How's this for a Christmas card picture? Hey, it's a "holiday" photo, and it includes 75% of our family:

Or maybe this one? Also holiday-ish, also includes 75% of our family, and as a bonus this one includes unintentionally coordinated clothing in our signature accent color, hunter's orange. Coordinated clothing is an important part of family Christmas photos, so this one is almost a winner, minus the fact that it is minus our Dad/husband, with additional points subtracted for Beck again being in a stroller:

And here, finally, is a picture in which Tyson and I appear together. In the words of Elaine, "You want a Christmas card?!?!" Here's your Christmas Card!!!"

My next post might include a round up of the year, since I've been a pretty bad blogger this year. Then I want to finish posting about our Utah trip. Oh, and finish posting about our other Utah trip. Stick with me!


  1. I've given up having special pictures for the christmas card. I didn't actually have a good picture containing all of us either (though I do have enough children that I could have stolen your sister's very nice card....).

    I picked three random pictures from the year. One of Kyle and the boys, one of me and the boys, and one of CP and baby E, since baby E is either in a stroller, or very tiny and hard to see in the other two pictures.

    It's all good.

  2. I'm with Lara...
    I haven't laughed this hard for awhile.

  3. Loved it all - and you, too! I haven't even figured out how to post pictures. Maybe someday.
    Have a great New Year!

  4. I was soooo confused when I logged on to your blog. You see, in my most recent blog post, our Christmas card is also the first image you see when the page loads. But it clearly wasn't my blog; it was yours...let's just say that I briefly thought I was stroking out or something. Oh, and it was very nice of you to call me out to all of the interwebs as the bad sister who never sent you your family photo. Except in "Kara World," we sat down and put all the July photos on your flash drive. Did I make that up? Sometimes "Kara World" and "Real World" are so different...

    Anyway, I am going to e-mail it to you RIGHT NOW.

    There. It's done.