This is probably the longest running campaign I’ve ever been a part of. It started just after my wife, Denise, and I got married in 1992. I had been in California for two years and wanted a way to punk my friends back in Boston. So, for our first Christmas together, we sent out a holiday card that showed us rollerblading our tree home. (Something we actually did by the way, because I was driving a, um, Miata. Trust me, it was super cool back then. Super.)
As we got older, life graciously provided us with a number of props: A new house, two children, a cat, a dog and a fake nanny to name a few. Sometimes these accessories worked. Sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes they needed to use the litter box in the middle of the shoot. Regardless, there have always been plenty of stories that went along with the shooting of the annual Christmas card. Most of which involve one or both boys misbehaving, my wife getting frustrated to the point of tears and all of us riding home in silence. Typically, to some song on the car radio like “We are Family” that accentuated what a disappointment we are as a family unit.
Then there’s the fulfillment process, which Denise runs like a Nike factory in rural Malaysia. Each family member gets a pile of envelopes, a stack of labels and whatever saliva you can muster to seal roughly … nine hundred thousand invitations. You see, due to the card’s increased popularity over the years, numerous people have requested to be added to the mailing list — a list that now includes family members, friends, folks I know but don’t particularly care for, complete strangers and the guy who owns the Indian restaurant down the street.
That said, with time, our sons have come to not only endure but embrace the annual Christmas card tradition. And they’ve learned that, while humiliating, being dressed in togas, having fake pubic hair applied to their face and Hershey’s chocolate coagulating in their ears, are small prices to pay for getting attention from chicks at school a week later.
There are 18 years of cards in all. While I like some more than others, the thing I’m most proud of, is that all four of the people who are featured throughout are healthy, we’re all still together and not a day goes by that we don’t share at least one really good laugh.
I hope you enjoy the latest submission. I hope you have a great holiday with the folks you love most. And I hope that with time, the chocolate smell in my wife’s car will dissipate.