How to Make Embarrassing Holiday Photos

2011 sure went by quickly, didn’t it? Well, it’s not over just yet…

Now is the time of year that people gather to be with their families, friends, and loved ones for a last hurrah before the new year strikes and everyone’s dropped off back at the beginning to do it all over again. Whether you traditionally celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, Pancha Ganapati, Bodhi Day, Kwanzaa, Feast of Winter Veil, Zamenhof Day, Agnostica, the Pastafarian Holiday, Hogswatch, or Festivus (for the rest of us), these are days that are meant to be remembered and, to the consternation of many, preserved by photographs.

The thing about holiday photos is that they’ll be around to haunt you for the rest of your life — whether tucked away, hiding, in a family photo album for future generations to mock and ponder, or displayed proudly, front and center, on the mantel above grandpa and grandma’s trusty fireplace (for the current generations to mock and ponder). Ideally, you want to make sure that such images endure as timeless memorials to holidays past rather than grim reminders of how big you could once get your hair (or that you once had hair) or how ridiculous you didn’t find that favorite hand-knit sweater with the brightly colored, dancing elves at some point in your life.

Then again, there’s something to be said for grimace-inducing and hilariously inappropriate holiday photos. Perfect pictures are forever pretty, but creating something that’s just a little off is a gift that truly keeps on giving. So if you’re brave (or shameless) enough to keep the chuckles rolling far into the future, here are a few pointers we’ve come up with. You’re welcome!

How to Make Embarrassing Holiday Photos

  • March over to Acer’s Funny Holiday Photo creator. You can sign in with your Facebook account and have it mutate pictures of you and your friends from there, or you can upload them from another source. As you can see from the example above, there are enough faces of Chris Pirillo to occupy the most disturbing family albums on either side of the Mississippi for millennia to come. If you’d like a chance to win an Acer computer, follow these instructions:
  • Wear a snowman sweater that has last year’s pit stains baked in. If the dancing elf sweater mentioned above somehow doesn’t seem tasteless enough (or if it just doesn’t fit anymore because you’re no longer 10), a visual reminder of how deodorant and extra spins in the dryer on the wrong setting can team up to make an ugly snowman sweater from the Salvation Army even uglier might just do the trick.
  • Forget to floss after dinner. There’s nothing quite as appetizing for the people who have to spend the holidays with you as seeing how much you’ve enjoyed your dinner. Make sure your grill is jam-packed with strands of turkey and your lips are smeared with cranberry juice when your gross grin is ready for its icky close up.
  • Pose with weapons in front of the Christmas tree. Even Frodo — an overachiever as far as Hobbits generally go — didn’t get into Mordor all by his lonesome. What better way to celebrate cheer, peace on (Middle) Earth, and good fellowship than by brandishing a pair of elven shortswords in front of ye olde Tannenbaum? After all, one does not simply walk into the holiday season.
  • Don’t act like you’re surprised when you open a crappy gift. Keep your facial expression as stoic-still as Spock at an oatmeal convention when you’ve found your festive Christmas stocking stuffed with more (but less festive and less large)… socks. Alternatively, you can go absolutely foaming-at-the-mouth bonkers and feign a preposterous level of enthusiasm — either response will certainly brighten the occasion for everyone assembled (with the possible [well, probable] exception of the offending gift givers).
  • Remove the wreath from your door and wear it around your neck. If you’re prone to getting an allergic rash upon direct exposure to conifers, then all the better. (In which case, make triple sure that your photos are in full color!)
  • Always have your face buried in a tablet or phone screen. Once upon a time not so long ago, we had to settle for wearing puffy Walkman headphones to convey our disinterest and contempt for the world around us and let it know that we were unavailable for interaction. Now, the anti-social among us are practically giddy with how many options we have to properly express ennui. Thank you, oh blessed technology!
  • Before the picture is taken, tell the kids that Grandma was just run over by a reindeer. The initial reaction should be recorded for posterity as quickly as that camera’s button can be pressed. Unless your kids are especially gullible or you live in Lapland, suspending their disbelief over such an unlikely event for more than a second or two may prove challenging. (Apologies to any Laplanders who have endured this very tragedy — especially around the holidays.)How to Make Embarrassing Holiday Photos
  • Wrap your head in discarded wrapping paper. Just don’t throw out the baby with the… well, you know. (Photo of cute but undoubtedly doomed infant to the right shared by frumbert.)
  • Give yourself bunny ears — because someone has to do it.
  • Immediately after the red-eye control flash, sneer at the person next to you. If you really luck out, the red-eye control flash won’t even have the manufacturer-desired effect and everyone captured at that exact second will display flaring demon eyes, thereby magnifying the holiday hostility of your sneer.

Then again, you could always just take nice holiday photos. For my part, I’m going to see how I can make the most terrifying conglomeration of family portraits using the faces of various, non-me members of the LockerGnome staff in Acer’s Funny Holiday Photo creator. They’ll thank me for it later, I’m sure.