The Christmas Card

30 Dec 2010
Our Stories posted by Rick Tofanelli

 Have you noticed how the digital age is rapidly changing what was once a tradition?  Christmas cards in our family were the boxed by the dozen greetings for a “JOYOUS SEASON AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR”.  We also may have included a short note on how the family is doing along with maybe a picture of the kids… as you can always get kids to pose, somehow.

Awkward Family Photo 1

It is my new observation that we can all be “Brad and Angelina” and our kids can be movie stars-to-be.  We all crave the paparazzi.  Christmas cards are really more meaningful now.  I know that because I continue to look at them.  Seeing the kids grow from year to year and often wondering about if their vacation was really as harmonious as the card makes it seem. I am now pouring through cards at my friends’ houses, anyone’s house, in fact, seeing happy people, posing or not, from Anywhere, USA.  I suddenly know many people from across the country and they look like the normal people also on my mantel, or do they?

Awkward Family Photo 2

You must go to Awkward Family Photos.  These pictures prove that families are the glue of our society.  How could some brothers and sisters really get together for five minutes in ridiculously orchestrated outfits and not protest nor sabotage the final product?

Awkward Family Photo 3

These cards remind me that families are right up there with food and water, as necessities of life.  Thank goodness that to love unconditionally is a primitive urge.  To love and protect each other shines on every photo we send, every photo we receive and yes, while at the neighbors’ Christmas party we’re eavesdropping on their Holiday cards also. 

I find myself wanting to start planning next year's photo now... the matching outfits, the pose, even planning the vacation to make the readers jealous.  All this work will be to no avail as my daughter and son-in-law would still win the competition simply by being spontaneous and brave... repurposing their Halloween costumes, setting up a tripod and waking their relucant bog, Bailey.

The Cooks as gnomes

Yes, they won. And my family won by knowing that love is all around us.  And you won because it is not at all the obtuse picture I painted.  The cards on your mantel are from people who love you.  It is a wonderful season for a wonderful reason.  May the carols on your lips, the joy in your heart, and the genuine love for your fellow man be with us for a long, long time.   


Do you have the nerve to share with us your embarrassing holiday photos?  Email us at


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