39: The Holiday Card

39: The Holiday Card

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Multitasking Mom's Survival Guide

The Holiday Card

Mistakes are the usual bridge between inexperience and wisdom.

~Phyllis Theroux

It was two weeks before the holidays, and I still hadn’t sent out my holiday cards. Each year, my family gets dozens of holiday cards from friends and family, and I wanted to send one out as well that year. We get all types of cards, like pictures of an entire family, pictures of the children, vacation pictures or even professionally produced pictures. Sometimes we receive cards with no pictures at all, just wishing us happy holidays in bright, bold letters.

After giving it some thought, I decided to go with the family picture taken by a professional photographer. After dropping off my two boys at grammar school, I called the local photographer and made the appointment. The photographer told me since there wasn’t much time before the holidays, he would come first thing Sunday morning and told me to have the whole family in white shirts. It sounded perfect.

Now, not only now did I have my usual five million things to do — carpooling, volunteering, buying last-minute presents, grocery shopping, cooking and making sure my family was happy — but I also had to find matching whites tops for my entire family. After visiting a bunch of stores, I decided on white polo shirts for all of us. I couldn’t have asked for a smoother morning. I was able to continue doing all my other errands with a smile, knowing that my family was going to look great for the holiday photograph session.

I’m not sure where the rest of the hours went, but when I went to tuck in my younger son on Saturday night, I noticed his hair was a complete mess. OMG! He needed a haircut. With all my running around, I hadn’t noticed how badly he needed one. I didn’t know what to do. It was 8:00 at night, and every salon or barber was closed. The photographer was coming the next morning. I then became resourceful… or so I thought!

I got out the scissors I used to cut fabric and told my son to come into the bathroom where I set up a little salon. My younger son is very easygoing and cooperative. I wet his hair, combed it and started snipping away. When I was done, we looked at each other and both knew that the haircut was a disaster! I started to panic. What had I been thinking? I had never cut hair in my life. Why did I think it would be so simple? Now my adorable little boy was paying the price.

Now, I had no other choice but to tell my husband. When he saw my son, he went completely bonkers. He said, “The pictures are tomorrow morning, and our son has the worst haircut I have ever seen on a little boy!” I was now sweating, and words would not come out of my mouth. I had no excuse. All I could do was apologize. My husband told me to go downstairs and have a cup of tea while he took care of the situation.

I am a woman of many talents, but obviously cutting hair is not one of them. As I sipped my tea, punishing thoughts ran through my head. I was always trying to juggle everything, fix everything, and have all the answers. Sometimes, I needed to take a step back. If something didn’t get done or fixed, it was not going to be the end of the world. If I had taken a breath, I would have seen earlier that my little one needed a haircut. As tears filled my eyes, my son came downstairs with his older brother.

I couldn’t believe my eyes… I saw the two cutest boys with buzz cuts! And minutes later, my husband joined in with a buzz, too!

My beautiful family holiday cards went out on time — just with a little less hair!

~Jacqueline Davidson Kopito

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