It's Thanksgiving, and you know what that means.   No, I ™m not talking about food, although the holiday does mean being thankful, and it does include turkey, dressing and pie.   For me and Hubby, Thanksgiving means we have to buckle down and finalize our Christmas card.  Hubby and I pride ourselves on creating a unique holiday card, the kind that tells a story with only a picture or very few words.   Each year we strive to create one that's even better than the year before.   Usually there's a big event that tells the story, such as the year Hubby was laid-off.   We re-created American Gothic , the couple standing in front of a farm house with the guy holding a pitchfork, except I was in a business suit holding a laptop and Hubby wore sweats, my apron and bunny slippers, while holding a toilet brush in one hand and a spatula in the other.   Clearly the news was, Guess who's staying at home these days?

This year, we're in trouble. We got nothin ™.    It's not that we haven't talked about the card, or brainstormed ideas, or taken tons of pictures.     This year we haven't really done anything except work way too much. No exotic vacations.   No life-changing events like a lay-off, which is really a blessing but it's a curse when it comes to the Christmas card.   Yes, Hubby did receive a promotion (Way to go, Hubby!) and I did get my book published (which is a great Christmas or Hanukkah gift, I might add –   But our card is about both Hubby and me, not something that highlights just one of us.   Besides, neither of those happenings scream, Cool holiday card , do they?

The biggest consideration is that our Christmas card always includes a photo of us.   Challenge is that Hubby has a difficult time getting his picture taken.   He's not embarrassed or shy.   But just one look at the camera or photographer and Hubby goes all deer-in-the-headlights and closes his eyes. In almost every-single-shot.   Doesn't matter if it's a professional photog or a candid shot by a friend, he can't seem to relax for a photo shoot.   Until now.

Saturday was supposed to be date-night , yet errands had us out until dinnertime. Tired and hungry, we opted for a quick dinner and a stroll at the mall for some fun window shopping and people watching. By chance we stumbled upon a do-it-yourself photography set-up.   Not the little machine that spits out a row of pictures while you both try to sit on the mini-chair behind the curtain. This was a real photography set-up, with a big light and a backdrop.   We watched as another couple played in front of the camera, with the photos popping up on a computer in front of us while we tried to figure out how it worked.   Turns out it was basically free, and only a minimal cost if you wanted one of the images for your own use. No one was in line so I coaxed Hubby into giving this a try.   But I ™m not dressed well, and my hair isn't fixed, cried Hubby.   Yeah, that's normally a girl-thing, but I ™m glad he's interested in his appearance.   I reminded him that I wasn't exactly looking my best either.

We decided to be brave and go for it. One of us held a small clicker that controlled the camera. We started out just smiling, and then started making goofy poses. Laughing and having fun, we didn't care if anyone saw us and it was a great way to spend time together.  Afterward, as we reviewed the forty-plus images on the computer screen, our jaws dropped. The.Best.Pictures.Ever. All black and white photos, both of us smiling, laughing, having fun, and eyes wide open.

At that moment it hit me: our Christmas card photo was here! I ™ll admit that there were a few oopses in the bunch, like one with part of my head cut off and one with Hubby holding the clicker in plain sight of the camera.   But there were more good ones than bad and Hubby had his eyes open in almost all of them, which is something new for us. Even our outfits and hair look good.  It took us a while to narrow down our choices but we did find our 2012 Christmas card photo. No, I ™m not going to share it with you now. You ™ll get yours in the mail or will eventually see it on Facebook. But trust me, it's perfect!

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