06 January 2008

behind the scenes of "Frohe Weihnachten" 2007

Well, I think you've all received your Christmas letters by now. And thanks to all of you who think I had anything at all to do with the writing of it. It's very flattering that you think I could write such hilarious stuff. I do have to admit that (see first post) I am not a great writer. I can be funny at times, but not all at once, and definitely not in a newsletter. (PS - I have helped with writing parts of the Christmas letters in the past, but those were very small parts.) What I'm trying to say is . . . all the credit for the writing goes to Dan.

However, I will take credit for being the art director/photographer/layout editor/editor for content/printer/producer/mail room operator.

What an undertaking! When Dan first mentioned this idea, we were on our way home from Spokane at Thanksgiving. I was trying not to freak out at the idea of trying to get these done before Christmas. I was really thinking it would never happen if Dan was in charge. But around Dec. 15th he mentioned it again.

The first thing to figure out was the glasses and turtlenecks. We don't own one turtleneck in this household because, as you may or may not know, I hate them. (Actually, now we do own one turtleneck, for Luke. We didn't have any baby friends with black turtlenecks.) Luckily we were able to borrow some just to shoot the pictures. Dan really wanted different glasses for everyone, but I'm not sure where he was planning on getting those. There were only 3 pairs of glasses, which we shared. So we started taking pictures.

We had to bribe the boys to do it. We recruited Jack first but he started crying when we told him it required wearing a turtleneck, slicking back his hair, and wearing silly glasses. (I think he thought he would be made fun of - cute little Jack.)
Sam was easily bribed with 2 quarters. His shots were pretty good too. I think at this point no one else wanted to take pictures and probably we were working on several other things at the time because it was the weekend. So another week went by . . . (and I was still trying not to freak out.)

The next time we decided to take pictures I had just about had it (I was freaking out). I was ready to send this picture (or one like it) on one of those photo cards which would read "due to a fight, there will be no letter this year."

This just wasn't funny enough for Dan. It was at this point that he decided to get up from reading (because that's what you do when you want a Christmas letter to go out before Christmas and there's only a week left, and some of those days in the week are the actual holidays and no mail goes out) and take the rest of the pictures (meaning I took the rest of the pictures - but he did get out of bed). I think we bribed Charlie with candy and Luke was perfect, of course. Jack joined in after he saw that we were all doing it and that it was actually funny. We were pros at that point, so our pictures went quickly.

For someone who's not a writer this post is becoming lengthy! So - I'll sum up. Formatting pictures took a while because we still had to figure out how to do it. Our computer wouldn't turn on after a power outage and we weren't sure it ever would (it did after the letters were sent). Luckily I had emailed Dan the photos before that happened. Trying to line up the photos took me at least 10 hours and lots of swearing because I wasn't doing it in the right format. When I handed it over to Dan it took him 10 minutes. I printed a whole box of photo paper (the nice kind) with my color ink cartridge on empty. It ruined the whole box. It took me a few days to figure out what was wrong (why would you need a color cartridge to print B&W?) Many hours and many dollars later, we finally got it done! I hope you all enjoyed it! We may never do it again!
PS - even with all the problems . . . I love technology . . . always and forever.


Ashley said...

It just isn't Christmas without the Hansen Family Christmas card, so I'm glad that it worked out despite all the headache. Geoff and I laughed our heads off. Maybe you should set up a subscription to cover the costs. :) Dan should write his own column for a paper or something.

leigh said...

Many people have encouraged Dan to write a blog. We'll see . . .

Toni said...

Ok... we need to see this wonderful family card. SOmehow it missed our house and now I'm dying to see it!!!

carrie said...

by far the best Christmas card ever. Really. Don't ever say it won't happen again because that would make me very sad. P.S. Your boys did such a good job in those pictures. So cute.

emilye said...

Okay, so I know this is a nerdy aunt thing to do but I took your family pictures to church to show to my friends. Some people got that it was funny right away but other people looked at it and said "what a cute family" without any hint of laughter. The worst was that many people asked if all the kids wore glasses.

I guess that's a good test to find out if someone has a good sense of humor or not.

sara said...

It was awesome! I was starting to worry when it hadn't come before Christmas; yours is one of only a few that we truly anticipate every year!