When I was small, there was a fleeting window of time where my parents invested in The Christmas Card as a way to reconnect with all their old friends from grad school. And then there were a few years where we were swamped with cards from these friends and their young families, which were hung up in the kitchen of 520 East Main Street. And then at some point, sadly, we were excommunicated from the Christmas Card Contingent because it had been years since my parents had sent them out. We might get 2 or 3 now, which usually live on the fridge until the summer or whenever they fall off and licked and ripped to shreds by the cats.
I think the problem, at least for us, is that as families get older, the visual element of the Christmas Card becomes harder to obtain: teenagers are unkempt and unsatisfactorily dour, college kids are busy with school, post-college kids are far away. The one family institution that my mother has ritualistically continued is The Pumpkin Picture, always taken the week after Halloween. There are 25 of them now-- the visual progression is marked by the addition of siblings after the first 5 and 10 years, plateaus at three children for another decade, and then in the last 5 pictures begins to dwindle (now it's just Dennis and Credo the dog). I want to start doing some drawing experiments drawing the fronts of photos, probably ones of my own family and as I was laying in bed this morning thinking about what I would do in the studio today I wondered whether a single photograph exists of my entire family (Mom, Dad, Will, Dennis and myself) with both sets of grandparents (Mimi, Papa, Grammy, Grampy). I'm not sure-- this might be a funny project for my mom and I while I'm at home.
Also, I just realized that I started these postings a day too early, which puts me in a ridiculous situation-- there might just have to be 13 days of X-mas this year.