For My Family

Every year, my parents send out a Family Christmas Photo to all of their friends and relatives. For as long as I can remember, the process of actually taking this annual family photo has been an exercise in patience. Consequently, whenever my mother says “Oh, why don’t we take the Christmas picture since we’re all together?” her suggestion is met with a series of reluctant groans.

“Let’s try a picture around the fireplace.” (We cram ourselves awkwardly in front of the wood stove in our living room.) “Didn’t we do this spot last year? Let’s do a picture on the couch instead.” (We migrate to the couch.) “I think we did this once before also. What about around the rocking chair?” (We position ourselves around the rocking chair.) “Do you think if I sit, that I could get the cat to sit on my lap?”

When I was younger, I was convinced that my mother would do this to us just to torment us. I’ve since learned that the real reason we took so many pictures was because it’s practically impossible to get even ONE decent picture of our entire family from one roll of film: In this one, someone’s blinking. In this one, someone isn’t smiling. In this one, the lighting is poor. In this one, we all look washed-out. In this one, we all look impatient. In this one, the cat is having a panic attack from being held too long.

But tradition is tradition. Each year we suffered through an hour or more of “photo experimentation” to increase our chances of getting a good picture.

Interestingly, 2007 marks the first year where I won’t see my family for the Holiday Season — and I’m saddened by the fact that my parents won’t be sending out a 2007 Family Christmas Photo. Once I realized this, I pulled out my photo collection and started looking through past years.

All I can say is, “Where has the time gone?”

Xmas 1983 - Click to Enlarge

Xmas 1984 - Click to Enlarge

Xmas 1985 - Click to Enlarge

Xmas 1986 - Click to Enlarge

Xmas 1987 - Click to Enlarge

1988 was missing from my collection…

Xmas 1989 - Click to Enlarge

Xmas 1990 - Click to Enlarge

Xmas 1991 - Click to Enlarge

Xmas 1992 - Click to Enlarge

Xmas 1993 - Click to Enlarge

Xmas 1994 - Click to Enlarge

1995 and 1996 were missing from my collection…

Xmas 1997 - Click to Enlarge

1998 was missing from my collection…

Xmas 1999 - Click to Enlarge

2000 was missing from my collection…

Xmas 2001 - Click to Enlarge

Xmas 2002 - Click to Enlarge

2003, 2004, and 2005 were missing from my collection…

Xmas 2006 - Click to Enlarge

After looking through these photos, I felt disappointed that I was missing some pictures. Was this because I only took a small box of pictures with me when I moved to Michigan this year? Or was this because there were a few years where my family and I became so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season that we forgot to take a Christmas Photo?

With that thought, I began charging the battery to my camera and started rearranging our living room.

“What are you doing?” Cassie asked.

“Continuing a tradition,” I replied.

This is for my family — my dad, my brother, and especially my mom. Although I won’t be seeing you this Christmas, you’re in my thoughts and my heart. Merry Christmas from Shaun and Cassie!

Michigan 2007:
Michigan Xmas 2007 - Click to Enlarge

(It took us 40 tries to get a picture we both liked — the tradition lives on!)

Update 12-24-2007: After publishing this entry two days ago, I received a Christmas Photo from my parents in the mail. Apparently I was wrong — living away from home this year had no impact on our annual picture. My parents simply used a picture that was taken while I was visiting for a few days during the summer.

I think it brings this entry full circle:

New Jersey Xmas 2007 - Click to Enlarge

Happy Holidays!

If you've found this website helpful, please click the PayPal button. You will be helping me pursue my dream career as a writer. Thanks for your support!

14 Responses to “For My Family”

#1 Kelly Petrucci on 22, Dec, 2007 at 11:07 pm

I remember that picture in 1983. You were the best baby I had ever babysat for! treasure those memories! Merry Christmas!
Kelly Trenchard-Petrucci

#2 Wesa on 23, Dec, 2007 at 3:43 am

Awww I like this year’s photo.

#3 Shaun Boyd on 23, Dec, 2007 at 10:57 am

How nice to hear from you! Merry Christmas to you as well!

Thanks so much! At first we thought the corny hats might be a little much, but I think they made us smile more! Happy Holidays!

#4 Lauren on 23, Dec, 2007 at 12:01 pm

I love how starting around 1990 you look exactly the same as you do now, only smaller. 😀

#5 Yvonne on 23, Dec, 2007 at 2:44 pm

I know that this is for your family but I just wanted to thank you for sharing these pictures! It was fascinating to watch you grow as I scrolled through them. What a wonderful way to show just how quickly time passes us by! Merry CHristmas!

#6 A Mind of My Own » Family Portraits on 23, Dec, 2007 at 9:59 pm

[…] is the brother, not the youngest brother. The bland face would be my father. Kinda reminds me of this. Never smiling but yet the one who would initiate the photo taking sessions. Are all fathers like […]

#7 webcure on 24, Dec, 2007 at 1:41 am

What only 40 tries?
Nice shot, it’s hard to believe you got something that good with less than 50. Impressive.
Happy Holiday.
Nice article, I could really relate.

#8 Ahmed Abdullah on 24, Dec, 2007 at 2:24 am

Merry Christmas buddy. ur picture with Cassie is lovely. i wish u both a life full of happiness 🙂

u really enjoy us

#9 jason on 24, Dec, 2007 at 4:53 am

what a horrible entry. who cares about your family other than you? where’s all the advice? this site has really gone downhill in the past few months

#10 James C. on 24, Dec, 2007 at 9:10 am

Good job getting into the Holiday Spirit, jason. Not.

#11 jason on 25, Dec, 2007 at 7:34 am

you are completely wrong. ‘holiday spirit’ doesn’t mean much to most people. christmas is overrated bullshit anyway

#12 Bibi on 25, Dec, 2007 at 10:32 am

This is for Jason, happy holidays to you, this is the season to be peaceful, hope yours will be, with that kind of an attitude. Hope you get a lot of coal. Glad you are back on track, Shaun. Keep writing.

#13 Lauren on 27, Dec, 2007 at 3:16 pm

You’ll be happy to know that your mother and brother look nothing like the people in my dream, so it could not have been you who died in that haunted house. Also is that a MY BUDDY I spy in 1986?? I believe that’s about when I got my Teddy Ruxpin. Good times.

#14 Zulfer on 28, Dec, 2007 at 4:02 pm

Wow… I wish our family had traditions like this. Happy holidays

Leave a Reply