Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Christmas Letter

Do you send those Christmas letters? You know the ones. They tell everyone how your four year old just finished reading the sixth Harry Potter, while ice skating professionally with the Ice Capades, while inching ever closer to a cure for prostate cancer using that neat little chemistry set you picked up for him at the PBS store last year.

Or do you send out the photo card showing your family at the summit of Mt. Everest, or waving wildly out of the Eiffel Tower during your summer vacation? Give me a break.

Holiday cards are supposed to be a lovely way to say "I am thinking of YOU and sending you holiday cheer." They are not intended to be a photoshop version of "In your face sucka! Our life is SO much better than yours!"

Perhaps I'm just a tad envious, and I admit it. Try as I may, it's darn near impossible to get my three girls to look at the camera simultaneously. It's part of that whole "Autism/eye contact" thing. My girls are beautiful with engaging smiles and bright, shining eyes. But I stand a better chance of putting the Loch Ness monster having sex with Big Foot on my holiday card than my three kids in one shot.

But wait! There's hope for us! With digital technology I can now download individual photos onto one holiday card! Or, I can take three photos and reshoot or scan them as one. I have a neat idea for this years' card. Now, how much for airfare for five to Paris?


Stacy said...

Great, Kim. Thanks a lot.

Now I'll have to destroy all 400 of the Christmas cards featuring a picture of me with my cat in a Santa hat. Hear that? That's the sound of your card going through the shredder.


Kim Stagliano said...

Don't get me started on people who think their animals are children. I understand people who think their children are animals. But the other way around? ARGH!

Is the hat black and white with a red bow like The Cat in the Hat? I might be tempted to see it. Stop shredding.


Petra said...

Hey Kim - I can't take credit for the following idea. Another autie mommy suggested it.

One way to really stick it to those stupid people with their stupid 'brag letters', is to use your kiddos metal toxicity test results as the 'center piece' in your X-mas letter. You bet that will shut them up in a hurry (I tried this idea out this TG when I showed some of my boys heavy metal results to their grandparents. It cut down on the 'it can't be THAT bad b..s..' in a New York minute..

Kim Stagliano said...

Petra -- ZING! "This Christmas card sponsored by Doctor's Data." :)

Petra said...

And don't forget to add "Heavy metals found in child graceously donated by the Vaccine Industry"

(yep, one of those days..)

mcewen said...

Thank goodness for digital cameras - that's about as technological as we get around here! Even then it'll take at least a 100 shots to find even one that's half decent. I think I might have to duct tape them to the floorboards this year.

Kim Stagliano said...

One year I sat the girls in a chair that spins (naturally) I spun the chair, stopped it and snapped a photo while they were laughing. It was an ordeal but I did get a great photo. That was pre-digital. I've resorted to many tricks to get a photo.


famous_amus2000 said...

I just found your blog and wanted to thank you for bashing my theory that any mom in my situation would flush her sense of humor, along with dozen or so other items that are NOT poo related, right down the toilet. FYI: a stick of deoderant will only get past the first bend, requiring total toilet removal! Thanks for the boost on one of our not so great days. I look forward to reading on!

Amy F.
mom to Noah & Amelia (4yr old twins w/ autism)and Alyssa (2 yrs old w/ massive sensory issues)

Kim Stagliano said...

Amy, if only I could get the POOP in the toilet! Well, not I, but get my drift. Welcome!

Anonymous said...


You are a brave and remarkable woman.

Kim Stagliano said...

I can understand calling me a wretched cretin anonymously, but a compliment? (LOL) I know you're not my MOM! :) T
Thanks just the same. Some days I'm remarkable and other days I'm anything but. One day I'll have to blog a "not" episode to dispel some of these nice girl myths!

And do come back!

Trish Ryan said...

The running joke in our house is that we should send out a picture of the plant I kept alive for almost a month in October as our Christmas card. It's either that or the dog, and she's not at all photogenic.

Laura said...

Kim, before I had kids, I took a picture of all my pets, used Photoshop to cut off their heads, and superimposed them on a picture of kids from a catalog wearing matching Christmas sweaters. I was making fun of the idea that my pets were my children, but some people might have thought I was really insane. I still think that's my best card ever! I also doctored some photos last year so my mom could get a good picture of all of the grandkids together. Cutting and pasting on the computer is so much fun!

My kids never look as cute in pictures as real life. I took about 50 pictures today outside in the snow and maybe one was decent of both of them. Oh well! Photoshop to the rescue!

Anonymous said...

Glad to see others struggle with the Christmas photo problem too! One year I took the kids' picture (one has autism, one NT) when the autistic son was asleep, and the NT daughter I just had lie there with her eyes closed next to him, pretending to be asleep. But I can't pull that trick every year.

I literally work on the Christmas photo all year long- just keep trying and trying to get one that looks good with both the kids.

I see this year that Snapfish and Kodak are offering multiphoto cards, and I also had the idea to include a Doctor's Data urine metals test as one of the photos. So colorful and festive!

Kim Stagliano said...

Especially colorful when the mercury spills into the red zone! I'm waiting for a DD test letter as we speak. Hoping for RED!

Anonymous said...

I actually love those Christmas cards! I am so sorry that you have had to (or are blessed to) be mother to 3 beautiful autistic daughters. You life has a beauty all its own and I can not even begin to imagine what your every day entails. However, I think that you should try to enjoy the blessings of others and be happy for the pictures that you are sent.They are merely a glimpse into their lives - a way to say "look what we've been up to." As you count your blessings take the time to see those of others - and be happy for them. We would love to see a picture os your family - even if it is cut and pasted together ... it is a reflection of your life ... and should be shared. Merry Christmas!

Allison said...

Before I had a digital camera I would take 2 to 3 rolls of film and develop all of them to get only one okay shot. Everyone thinks CJ just sits there for the picture, when in reality I'm in manic mode!! In between each shot I have to sit him back down in between the girls and constantly keep taking his fingers out of his mouth or nose. Shoot quick!! I got a digital and didn't have to waste as much money finding the shot But of course CJ found it and broke the picture taking button!! Back to 3 rolls!! But of course I HAVE to take the picture, can't give in to failure or catholic guilt if I don't complete the mission. Oh well. Here's to a successful picture, dipicting perfection and an easy life for all of us.