How NOT to Successfully Take a Christmas Card Photo of Your Kids

1. Don’t schedule it for a Sunday afternoon less than two hours after you finish your marathon training long run of 16 miles. The ability to move quickly, squat, and stand back up are all crucial skills for photographing children.

2. Don’t plan on taking said photo near a large body of water. Large bodies of water beg to be splashed in by small boys.

3. Avoid beaches. Sand is not your friend. You will trip in it while scurrying backwards to catch your children who, despite their disabilities, are much faster walkers than you are after a 16-miler.

4. Do not be fooled into believing that your two-year-old son will accede to your wishes that he sit quietly next to his sister on the steps when there is both water and sand just a few feet away.

5. Understand that asking your older child to hold the younger one in place by his overall strap is not going to produce a well-posed photo (although it will help with the smiling).

6. And finally, DO NOT attempt to shoot a Christmas card photo of your children without at least one other responsible adult (preferably Dad) in attendance. Someone has to chase the sand urchin, and it doesn’t need to be the woman with the nice camera who just ran 16 miles. NOTE: I followed this rule and still wouldn’t call the “shoot” a success.

When all is said and done, experience the joy of finding a gem on your memory card of your kiddos engaging in some brotherly/sisterly love…and vow to try again another day.