Have you decked your halls yet? Im sure you have. You over achiever people out there have probably already sent out your custom high quality triple fold 5 dollars a piece Christmas card that is both modern and whimsical....while I on the other hand just barely got my act together to find enough clean items of clothing so my entire family could pretend to love each other for 45 minutes in order to send you a 4x6 of carefully posed christmas cheer.
And. We. Failed. 
Our littlest angel is named Benett. He's a feisty bear cub of defiance. He sat and cried hysterically while wiping his running nose on the sleeve of his shirt because we wanted him to stand near us.  And then when my husband finally got brave enough to pick him up - he sustained the customary kick to the face and bash to the head. All Benett wanted to do was pick his nose in peace.  Which he did. In 25 consecutive photos. 
The best part of this picture is that my other two darlings decided to hold hands! Precious! Except in reality Brigitte was restraining Spencer from trying to hug her repeatedly. That's my girl. 
Suddenly in a fit of Christmas spirit we spontaneously (at the suggestion of our photographer) decide to hug each other in a huge mass of family love and adoration! And my poor Brigitte was swallowed whole and oxygen was cut off for at least 10 seconds. I don't know what the actual rules are for sending out a family photo for the holidays - but Im pretty sure showing the face of EACH child is sort of essential. 
So we try again. And, I don't know about you but I think this one is pretty good! But my husband got all whiney about the fact that my lions mane was crowding his baldness. We laughed for at least 10 minutes over the rat tail cascading down his back.
(Although truth be told a man with hair has been on the top of my Christmas list for ages!) Just kidding honey - Love you!
We tried to capture the love. Can I help it if I have an actual negative physical reaction to public displays of over-affection??? Feelings make me feel so awkward! The fact that I am married is a sheer testament of Gabe's persistence and confidence in his don juan-ness. 
This one was my favorite though - oh are we kissing now? Oh ok! Ill hold very very still like a Stepford wife and forget to close my eyes... is it over?
Have we kissed??? Phew. Nailed it. Couples shot - check check!  
And here we have my middle child Spencer pretending to die of overexertion because instead of his usual daily ritual of sitting mostly naked in a recliner with a package of Oreos while watching Netflix for hours on end - we forced him to put on pants and be seen in public. 
He alternated between this - and fits of rage. 
Heaven forbid we need our introverted shy daughter to face the camera and make eye contact. This would require interacting with humans, which she only does sparingly and on special occasions. Where gifts or major bribes and or the threat of imminent death are involved. (Yes, I tried all 3 of those tactics)
I grabbed onto her precious face and said, "GET AHOLD OF YOURSELF DARLING!"
And give mummy a kiss! Which she thought was a terribly hilarious idea,  which then sort of shocked her because I was serious. 
All in all, we totally captured the spirit of our family. Each personality like a shining Christmas star, warming the hearts of a family, friends, and neighbors. 
Merry Christmas everyone. From my adoringly awkward family to yours! Ps - If you want an actual printed on paper Christmas card from us this year please email me your address at: christycrandall@gmail.com. I promise it will be neither modern nor whimsical - nor will it unfold in 3 panels of well thought out goodness. And it will probably arrive after the new year. Because that is how long it is going to take me to recover from taking these photos.  
xoxo Christy
Beautiful pictures captured by the gifted Merrakai photography!
December 16, 2014 — Christy Beal


Trisha F said:

I recently found the blog for you through Myrle Allred.
What awesome pictures of a real family! Adorable.

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