Welcome to Kids Activities Blog and the annual re-telling of our Christmas picture story from years ago way back in 2007…

Quilt with tag that says Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - Kids Activities Blog
Let me tell you a little Christmas story about 3 boys…

The Christmas Quilt

At my first baby shower (pre-three boys) my mother-in-law gave me a Christmas quilt. Each year my children are subjected to posing with it for holiday photographs.

The Annual Christmas Quilt Photography Session 2007

My mom and I once again took the 3 boys into a popular department store Portrait Studio at the local mall. I was relieved when I noticed the studio was deserted. The one photographer on duty did not seem pleased that we had made it to our appointment.

I explained to her that I brought a quilt to use for background. I then went on to explain how previous photographers had attached it to the department store’s portrait studio equipment for the last 6 years. I need ONE portrait 5 x 7 to match the 6 I have at home from previous 6 years.

She took the quilt and started what turned out to be a 15 minute process of quilt arrangement. I tried to be helpful, but she was a bit hostile.

Finally, she called that she was ready.

She arranged the older boys kneeling behind a chair where the baby was to sit.

The baby freaked and we spent 5 minutes bribing, cajoling and tricking the baby into the chair. It worked. We are picture ready!

Picture #1

1, 2, 3…POP! I pop the binky out of the baby’s mouth for the picture…
No picture.
No series of flashes.
Nothing captured on film.

I turned to the photographer and said, “I am going to pull the binky out so you can get a picture.”

Meanwhile, she is fussing at the older boys for moving despite the fact that they have been amazing little statues for the last 8 minutes kneeling.

1, 2, 3…POP!
I yell, “OK, we are ready!”
*one flash:*

Christmas quilt picture 1
Picture #1

A flurry of post-picture movement ensues.
*Get everyone settled down*

Picture #2

1, 2, 3…POP!
and finally as if in slow motion…
*one flash:*

Christmas quilt picture 2
Picture #2

By this point the older boys are legitimately complaining and needing to move.

I ask if we can switch poses.



Nope. This is the ONLY way she can get the portrait 5 x 7 I requested.

That is weird. I guess all portrait 5×7 pictures in the entire universe of 3 boys have two on their knees and a baby in a small, white wicker chair in front of them.

I calmly suggest that they all sit.

That won’t work!

At this point she is saved by a phone call.

While she is out of the room answering the phone I arrange the boys on several red blocks I find in the room.

She returns.

I announce, “we are ready!”

Picture #3

1, 2, 3…POP!
*more silence*
*continued silence*
*yep, more silence*
*one flash:*

Christmas quilt picture 3
Picture #3

The boys are off in 3 different directions.

I say, “OK, we are finished”.

Picture #4

She says, “I have to get individual pictures”.

“I am not going to buy individual pictures”.

She sets up for individual pictures.

Boy #1: Sitting by himself. Almost in tears.

She is yelling, “Smile! I can’t take the picture until you smile!”

It was ugly.

So ugly that grandma stepped in and said, “here lets take a picture on grandma’s lap” so she got positioned and flash:

Christmas quilt picture 4
Picture #4

Whew. One down.

Picture #5

Boy #2: Sitting on grandma’s lap. Traumatized by recent photographic events. Fidgeting. Grandma gently rocks to calm him.

She yells, “stop moving! I can’t take the picture if you move like that!”

The rocking continues because boy #2 is upset.

“Stop moving!”

“Take the picture!” I scream.


Christmas quilt picture 5
Picture #5

That is enough!

I say, “we are done”.

Grandma takes the boys and heads to the mall play area.

The photographer starts to chase them into the large department store.

I say, “what are you doing?”


We have been there for 30 minutes and she only has 5 shots?


Picture #6

And then she poses me.
Sideways to the camera, looking over my shoulder and with both thumbs in the back pocket of my mommy jean capris.


Christmas quilt picture 6
Picture #6

And that is how I ended up with a picture of myself with a pleasant “mommy about to make the 6 o’clock news with violent attack on photographer at local department store” expression on my face.

She had her 6 shots.

I bought ONE portrait 5×7 of the first shot.


OK, let’s chat…do you blame me? Could this photo session have gone more wrong?

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  1. This has got to be one of the funniest stories I’ve read in a long time–I was laughing so hard it brought me to tears. So sorry you had to endure, but man, it made a great story.

  2. Cracks me up every time…the telling of this story MUST become a family tradition – think of how it will get better and better with time! I love it!

  3. I am laughing so hard over this that I am crying. PRICELESS!

    We have had our fair share of photographer incidents, one which included a photographer informing me she did not know how to make my kids smile (huh?) and another who almost let my three month old fall off a table because she thought he could sit by himself.

  4. I’m glad you reposted this too! My all time favorite Mommy-blog Christmas story!! This belongs in the newspaper…have you sent it in?

  5. I remember reading this last year and loving it. Thanks for re-posting it. Gave me a GREAT smile 😉