Parents Ousted From Their Own X-Mas Card

Another wonderful holiday season (in which my Christmas music playlist has yet to find a rival), another flood of Christmas greeting cards from families near and far.

Oops, I don’t mean families — I mean kids. Invariably, families with kids send only a picture of the kids and not the parents. This is maddening. What’s going on here? Why are parents ousted from their own photo?

1. Kids are cuter than adults, so nicer to look at.

2. Kids change in physical appearance year-to-year more than their parents.

3. The marriage and family in general is really driven by the kids, so a photo of just the kids suitably reflects the power structure.

I suspect it’s a combination. #3 is most worrying and something I touched on in an earlier post titled The Emergence of Kids as Kings.

6 comments on “Parents Ousted From Their Own X-Mas Card
  • I’ll add a 4th option that is in direct conflict with #3, but goes along well with #1 and #2.

    Parents are in charge of the Christmas Cards and they get to choose who is on them. If the parents are more vain, they’ll include themselves in the picture. If the parents hate having their picture taken, they will inflict the perceived pain on their children (who are most of the time unwilling subjects of the Christmas Card photo).

    Parents often take pictures of their kids throughout the year and may not tell the kids the purpose of the photographs (my parents learned this trick after some awful attempts at photographing my sister and me in early December). This gives them even more leverage in forcing the children onto the card.

    Random addition to the conversation: I know of one family that had to photoshop a brother and sister next to each other for their Christmas Card because they were so uncooperative when being photographed together.

  • Reminds me of The Importance of Being Earnest

    “Few parents nowadays pay any regard to what their children say to them. The old-fashioned respect for the young is fast dying out. Whatever influence I ever had over mamma, I lost at the age of three.”

  • Back when I sent Christmas cards, in that previous lifetime where I had friends, I only included photos of my kids, dog, and then-husband because I was the photographer. Now I only receive one Christmas card, from a cousin who hasn’t talked to me in three years. I tear it up and recycle the pieces. Bah, humbug.

  • The reason we only have our children in the photos is because they are young (5 and 3), and it’s all we can do to get them dressed (much less dressed up) and out the door. Our Christmas cards are not of the boys “dressed up” – they are often in shorts and t-shirts – but they are usually on Santa’s lap. I would love to have a family portrait done, but the sheer planning and execution of it is too much to undertake during a time of year when I’m already strapped for time.

  • I find it very annoying to receive greeting cards with kids’ photos on them. I am a compulsive shredder. While I have no doubts while shredding any grown-ups, shredding someone else’s kids takes a particularly mean streak.

    As a result, I have a pile of photos of kids sitting on my shelves and growing by the year. Some of these kids I have very little interest in; if their parents were smarter, they would have twigged by now that is why I do not remember their kids’ birthdays when I remember the birthdays of at least 10-12 other kids, whose photos do not get sent to me and in whose growing up I am really involved.

    Parents really need to realise that apart from them, few others are keen on their kids. Yes it sounds mean – but hey, I still am not shredding those kids’ photos, am I?

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