The annual holiday card is supposed to be a chance for your family to put their best foot forward. It’s a handy way to greet friends and family you might not otherwise get to see during the holiday season, and everyone is supposed to look and act their best. And I say “supposed to,” because in reality that’s rarely what happens.
Because taking the holiday card photo is an ordeal. Busy families can usually only set aside a short amount of time to take their photo, which means you get one chance to get everything right. With so many variables, (location, hair, makeup, small kids, inebriated Santas), that’s a lot of ways things can go wrong, and they often do. When I was a kid, taking the holiday photo was something I anticipated about as much as waking up during a major surgery.
But here’s the thing about a holiday card mishap: it often gets mailed out anyway. Why? Because, as is often the case in life, the mistakes are just as good as so-called “perfection.”
In that spirit, let’s take a look at 15 holiday cards that might not have turned out how everyone wanted, but are still so, so, good.
1. ‘Twas The Fight Before Christmas
“We were trying to create a winter wonderland scene and save money by shooting our own picture. We ended up with almost 90 photos that all looked like this, so we just went with it and this year I got actual requests to post this card.” – Heather
2. Out Of The Picture
“My parents made 200 Christmas Cards right before my girlfriend and I broke up. Sent them anyways.”
3. He Also Sees You When You’re Sleeping
“This is a photo of me and my two sisters with Santa Claus, and there was some random guy who was looking through the window as the photo was taken. We didn’t realize he was in there ’til we got the photos back.” – Scott
4. Tin Soldiers
“So, I got bored with the typical holiday cards and decided to do something a little different. At first, my ideas were pretty innocent (we wore Santa hats, reindeer antlers,etc), but as the years passed and my ideas became more and more unusual, I realized people loved it. I have heard from many “fans” that their extended families, friends, and neighbors start checking in early in December to see if the Johnson card has arrived and what I’ve come up with for that year.” – Sue
5. Jazz In The Desert
“The infamous Christmas photo shoot of 1984. Dad’s short-shorts and high socks highlighted his fashion-forward attitude and athleticism; my sister’s cheerleading perfection revealed her vow to never look bad in any photo- ever, and my single jazz hand stance completed the glorious ensemble.” – MaryLynn
6. Pray For Peace
“This is my sister’s attempt at Christmas Card perfection. However, this time she failed. It almost looks as though she told them Santa actually isn’t real. My nieces were extremely uncooperative for my sister and to make matters worse, my niece on the right head-butted my baby niece (on the floor obviously).”
7. Not-So-Silent Night
The oldest kid is all of us.
8. A Kiss From Below
“My friend sent out this Christmas card. Mom and Dad kissed and the kids thought they should too.” – Scott
9. One Out Of Three Ain’t Bad
“When I was seven, my Mom had us take Christmas card pictures. My sisters wouldn’t stop fighting, so I did what older brothers do best.”
10. Oh Joy
Honestly, bring a prop like that to a photoshoot and you’re asking for trouble.