It really is the most wonderful time of the year. No, sorry Molly, not Halloween. I refer instead to the one time of year when my husband, despite initial howling protests, cracks and succumbs to my every photographic demand. It’s family Christmas card season.

This year I got smart and waited until the night before (when baby dresses had already been purchased and photographer friends had already been booked) before revealing the details of the planned shoot… details which included a drive to the arboretum, multiple backgrounds, full formal attire, and an outfit change in the park parking lot. He swore he wouldn’t do it. But see, that Christmas magic found its way into his tiny grinchy heart, and here we are. Can’t you just hear the chestnuts popping and sleigh bells jingling?

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Gotta love that drool.

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…and Drew’s face.

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Can I get a hell ya for baby dresses with built in crinolines? And for tiny silver shoes? She is just the cutest stick-wielding little Christmas fairy ever.

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Changing in the parking lot. Yeah, I’m classy like that. It appears Junip has a inherited my lack of concern for public nudity; she took it like a champ.

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And yeah, that’s right, the peanut and I are in matching knitwear. I am that mom and I feel no shame. Au contraire, I feel nothing but giddy, bubbling joy and a strong desire to flap my hands in excitement. My mom’s good friend Kathy made them for us, and I have been DYING for the right moment to get it on film.

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The cutest stick-wielding little fall fairy ever.

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Yeah, matching knitwear AND baby kisses. Did you just die a little? I did.

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And lest you think I am the only crazy photographer here, I leave you with this shot of my friend Chris and his partner Irene. Chris and I taught photography together at the high school and I knew he would be the perfect friend to trust this photo shoot to, but I didn’t realize just HOW perfect until we pulled up at their house and out they came carrying a silky negligee and floofy red Fabio shirt on hangers. It seems we inspired them to make their first ever cheesy Christmas card and they decided to go paperback romance novel! YES! I knew right then and there I would not hear a single complaint out of Drew for the remainder of the day. I mean, clearly my demands were meager. I’ll give it a few more years before I ask for the Fabio shirt.

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If only it could last a little longer. But, there is a bit more to enjoy: now come weeks of obsessing over which smiles are our best to Photoshop onto which group of bodies, which specific holiday greeting to use and what font to type it in (or should we go hand-drawn this year?), and of course, where to add sparkling little gleams of light. Is a twinkle in Juniper’s eye too much? Maybe at a low opacity.

Can I express my love for the family Christmas card any more sincerely? Check back in two months for the finished product.

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