Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Last week, my friend Annie did a post in which she revisited the ghosts of Christmas past -- in card form. It was so fun to walk down memory lane with her.

And since there are no gorgeous, half-nekkid, singing men to post about today, I thought I'd take you on a walk down our family's memory lane. On seeing these old cards, I found myself full of emotion. Some of them made me laugh, and some made me cringe. But most of them simply made me smile, and I caught myself wiping a tear or two away, as I wistfully noticed just how big my babies have gotten lately.

First up is our Christmas card from 1999. In this picture, McKay was about 21 months old, and Chase was probably two months old. The Husband traveled out of town every week, Monday through Friday, for a year-and-a-half during this period of time. It was tough. It was definitely the first test of my independence as a wife and mother.

I must have fared rather well, as he is still traveling up a storm today, and I don't find it nearly as hard.

Please note that a child ABSOLUTELY had to be placed in front of my body, as I was not yet recovered from the pregnancy weight gain and looked like a bloated cream puff, held up by thighs the size of tree trunks.

I also had really bad hair. Kind of like right now.

The next card is from 2000. This photo was actually taken in Seattle, right before we moved to Boston. McKay was two, and Chase was not yet one. This angelic photo was just weeks before THE INCIDENT. Oh, if we only could travel back in time. What we'd tell ourselves, no?

And, at this time, I was still quite the porker, and couldn't risk long-distance friends and family seeing that.

Just in time for Christmas of 2001, I was five months pregnant with Hannah. That fact alone explains away the absence of a family picture. Do you sense a theme here? [Quit judging. You know you do it, too.]

This was also our way of announcing the impending arrival:

[Please note her due date. Her actual birthday is April 25th. Why couldn't my babies be born on-time? WHY? Was that simple request too much to ask? UGH.]

In 2002, I was finally part of the picture again. Not because I was trim and slim, but because it had been so many years, and I worried people would think I had run off with the mailman.

Which, I'll be honest, I considered at times. Having three kids in four years will do that to you.

Skipping ahead to 2005. Here, we sent our first "top ten list." I kept a journal handy and wrote down funny things the kids said throughout the year, and we had them printed on the inside of our card.


It's become a tradition we still do today. The funniness factor, I think, was maxed out two years ago, in 2006, when some of our top ten items were:


"Dad, if you get pulled over one more time, you're getting a van." (Chase)

"But I just can't find a man to fall in love with." (Hannah)
"The directions don't tell you a damn thing!" (McKay)
"Be a peacemaker or I will stab you." (Chase)
"You should never get mad at me because I am so pretty." (Hannah)

Yeah, we'll totally never top that. Best top ten list ever.

So stay tuned next week, internets, and I'll post our card from this year. I just mailed my last big stack today, and I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone who hasn't gotten theirs.

Play along, won't you? Let's see some of your Christmas card ghosts.

36 comments:

Kimberly said...

What a cute idea! I want to play!

Lauren in GA said...

I seriously burst out laughing at the, "Be a peacemaker or I will stab you" by Chase. That was rich!

It brings me to something random that I have always wondered about...I have always been curious why protests to stop war turn violent...as in...the protesters turn violent in the name of peace...okay...sorry...random...

This was so, so, great! I have letters from Christmases past...I will have to dig some up and mail them to you...

I would never judge you...I don't ever even want to be photographed for anything, Let alone the Christmas card!

Susy said...

The comment about the directions killed me. Now that was damn funny!

queenieweenie said...

that is the cutest idea! hmmmm...I have some digging to do.

LOVE the top ten list.

Mama Cher, Ok, fine, it's Sharon said...

My favorite is "Be a peacemaker or I will stab you."

That is awesome.

brooke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brooke said...

This was fun to read. I don't send fat photos of myself either--shockingly, I am only in the family Christmas photo about every third year. I laughed out loud at your son saying "the directions don't tell you a damn thing." It's hard to get mad at kids using prafanity when they use it correctly and it's funny.

Terra said...

That was seriously one of the coolest posts ever and I love your top ten list. Might have to steal that. That said, If I had a single free moment that wasn't somehow devoted to blog posting or blog reading I would dig out our old cards...but I don't so I am putting it on my to do list and hope to do it next December. This was seriously very fun.

Terra

Annemarie said...

Great idea. I hope I can find some. There have been some doozies...

Emily said...

Yes Stie, true to form yours was our first card this year and I looked for it with anticipation. Frankly I was about to call you if another card chanced to beat out its first place--but one didn't. And seriously, this years list is hillarious--my favorite being Chase's quip about plastic. Love it and love your family--Merry Christmas!

TravelinOma said...

I've seen you regularly for the past 15 years and you've NEVER been fat for no reason. Pregnant occasionally, but never fat for no reason.

Linsey said...

Ours our boring compared with these. But, I do have a rule, no cards with pics of just the kids. We have too many friends who don't know us both or have never met our kids who'd be wondering who sent them a Christmas card.

Annie said...

Love 'em. Thanks for playing along! And you look good in all of them...you started out cute and keep getting better! Totally unfair.

And this year's photo for us is a kid one. You can read into that however you want.

Jen said...

I love this idea but have no idea where to find our Christmas ghosts. I'll start looking. I avoid being in our pictures - it's all about the kids.

Rochelleht said...

Just posted my new one last night with the link to all the old ones. It's the old pictures of myself that are truly disturbing. Who thought red lipstick was cute? ME! UGH!

ginger said...

You have a beautiful family. And I love your History Tour story. Oh My Goodness! Gotta love kids!

Becky said...

I need to play that game. Now where ARE all those past cards anyway??? uhhh. LOVE the cards.

calibosmom said...

I'm going to have to track down my cards. How did I miss the INCIDENT? I think I'm going to have to make a visit to the Seven Gabled house and check out those blinds. Oh man, that is bad!

Woman Interrupted said...

Loved seeing your ghosts...I am starting to feel like I almost know you in real life!

Susy said...

Ok Christie go back to my blog you can have a fix on your Joseph, well he is only 14 in these photos....

Bridget said...

I loved seeing these. Then I get to see your kids little as I remember them. Not BIG kids. You've always been beautiful Stie. Let's face it.

Ilene said...

So you did the three kids thing in four years too?!

Oh, now I have hope that my sense of humor will live on through these early days filled with diapers, tantrums, and snot.

My husband travels like six to eight nights a month. You are a saint.

♥Maren said...

I loved this post! If I had a blog... this is one I would totally play along with. Do you know my favorite part? I've got everyone of these cute photos in my Christmas Album!

I even have one of JUST you and the dear hubby... before all those sweeties joined you.

Life has been very good to us!☺

Laurie said...

Did the three kids in 3 1/2 years--that's why there's a 3 1/2 year gap to get to number 4!

Loving the photos, and you look great darling. But sometimes it's just too much of a hassle to get everyone in the picture.

Really loving the top ten list!

wenderful said...

Those were truly great top tens. I may have to steal the idea. And, thanks to you, I spent too much of the morning tearing through the picture bins in search of cards past. But I found enough to post. So thanks for the idea!

andrea said...

um, all my cards of christmas past include an ex-husband. don't think the new guy would enjoy that post too much.

sorry.

maybe i'll email you some, just for kicks.

Christina B. said...

It's so much fun to see your Christmas cards! I feel like I got a little peek into those years I missed. Your kids are so photogenic! I love those smiles. And cheers to your amazingly strong 1999 self!

Robyn said...

I loved that! I think I remember my sister telling me about your lists...what a fun tradition. You really do have cute babies. And your first two were closer together than mine...how did you do it? I'm barely surviving!

mae said...

Um, you have the most adorable family. I wish I got to see them more- I don't think I have even met any of your kids!! Way too sad. Come visit soon.

gab said...

I can proudly say that I took one of those photos. I remember the one of you and Josh on the slide with baby McKay. He was the cutest baby EVER.

Great post!!

AMY said...

Sadly, I don't know if I could find them even if I tried. Why wouldn't I save those in a special place??? Can't wait to see this years!

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

I can't play...I don't do pictures at Christmas, or any time for that matter! For reasons like, those you mentioned!

CJ, the Purple Diva said...

Oh yeah, but I LOVE your pictures and the top ten list! THE BEST!

crystal said...

I didn't even get past the first card, & I had to rush and comment! Let me just say, my friend, I am SO glad to hear from you--a hot mama--that a child had to be placed in front of your body to camoflauge the not-ye-lost baby flab.

SO glad. It means I am sort of normal. (?)

Okay. Now i will go read the rest of the post. I wonder if I will have a separate comment for every card?...

Jen said...

I finally got my post together. It took me a while to find all our pictures/cards. That was fun. Thanks for the idea.

Musings of a Housewife said...

Oh I love these! Wonder if I can dig mine up.