The Christmas Card

The year that Jack and I got engaged, my future MIL proposed using Jack and I’s engagement photo for the family Christmas card.

And,” she enthused with a sparkle in her eye, “in an oval bubble located in the upper left corner, would be a photo of Charles and I, smiling down on you in approval.”

My MIL’s style had stopped evolving around 1980. Her kitchen still had floral wallpaper. Her den had a plaid couch and the formal sitting room had a chintz one. Hummel figures dotted book shelves. The kitchen table had that distinct mid-century coloniawful style common to Ethan Allen furniture of the late 1970s.

So I envisioned her Christmas card idea as one of those old Olan Mills style photos with the detached floating heads, kind of like this one:


I grinned and said “Sure, if that’s what you want.” I seriously didn’t have an objection to it. It sounded cheesy to the point of being tongue-in-cheek. If my in-laws knew any hipsters, those hipsters might consider that the best Christmas card they received all year.

My husband and father-in-law felt otherwise. “No, Lilith,” they said in unison.

“Why not?!?!” she exclaimed, her mouth forming a hurt “o” of surprise.


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