by Nicole Freire
Nicole: Hey honey, why don't we stand here in the kitchen and let the kids take our picture for the Xmas card this year? I think we look nice, don't you? Come on, smile.
Husband: Ok, but something seems off. I feel like, uh, I don't know, maybe my shirt is weird.
Nicole: Weird? How? It's a nice green color, very festive. Perfect. Do you not like the kitchen? I know, let's go stand in the dining room.
Nicole: See? This is nice! Wait, I think the kids forgot to use the flash. Does the light look odd to you?
Husband: Well, I'm smiling and I'm feeling pretty good. But yeah, the light seems a little yellow-ish. And I'm still feeling kind of funny about the shirt………..
Nicole: Hush up about the shirt. Let's try standing in the living room, by the television cabinet.
Nicole: This is even better I think. Yeah, I think this is going to be cute!
Husband: Ha! Ha ha! I figured it out!
Nicole: Figured what out? Wait, I think I'm making a weird face. Sort of pinched looking.
Husband: I'm wearing a shirt with a gigantic DRAGON on it! Holy cow, look at the size of this thing!
Nicole: A dragon shirt? What are talking about? Where did you get a dragon shirt?
Husband: Your father gave it to me last year for Christmas.
Nicole's Father: I like dragons. I also like green shirts. What's not to like?
Nicole: A dragon shirt?
Husband: Oh my gosh, you know what? You're also wearing a dragon shirt.
Nicole: A dragon? On my shirt? No, really?
Husband: I swear a dragon. Also, I think I see a skull on there too. Where did you get that shirt?
Nicole: Mom gave it to me, along with a bunch of other hand-me-downs. It's comfortable……….oh my god, you're right! It does have a dragon on it. And a skull. What the heck? I can't take a holiday picture wearing a dragon shirt!
Husband: Check it out, it's not just a dragon, it's a CELTIC dragon! Awesome!
Nicole's Father: I like skulls. I also like dragons. This shirt is the perfect blend of both! I got this for my wife. I think she'll like it.
Kid number one: Oh my god, don't even look at Mom and Dad. They are being totally weird.
Kid number two: I'm not even looking up. Just pretend to be interested in this book.
Kid number one: Yeah, focus on the book, that's good.
Kid number two: But shouldn't we be in the picture? I'm tired of taking pictures.
Kid number one: And those dragons! God, they are SO embarrassing.
Nicole's Father: You know, there's nothing better than a great t-shirt. I love them. Love to buy them, love to give them as gifts. Why aren't I wearing a t-shirt right now?
Nicole: Well, we're back in the kitchen again. Am I smiling? I can't believe what I'm wearing.
Nicole: Please stop with the dragons.
Nicole: Seriously, stop it.
Husband: SKULL AND BONES!!!
Nicole: How can I fix this? Isn't there some other picture we can use? Maybe one with the kids?
Husband: Your eyes are RED. Like dragon FLAMES.
Nicole: This is unbelievable.
Kid number one: Uh oh, I think that Mom wants us in the picture too.
Kid number two: I am not going to be in a picture if they're going to be wearing dragon shirts.
Kid number one: Seriously.
Kid number two: I hear Mom calling us. We gotta go.
Nicole: Isn't this great? We're all together in a picture. I think we'll use this one as our Christmas card.
Husband: I was kind of getting into the Celtic dragon thing. And I like green shirts.
Kid number one: Ok, I'm smiling but I didn't have time to brush my hair. Do I look ok without my hair brushed?
Kid number two: Hey, I lost another tooth! I'm smiling extra big.
Nicole: I am just wearing a sweater. Just ordinary, plain, boring oatmeal colored sweater. Nothing weird, no dragons, no skull and bones. Wait, I think my hand looks funny. It's kind of wedged under the table. Does it look like I'm missing a hand? I'm not missing a hand.
Nicole's Father: You know what dragons like? Eating things. Dragons are dangerous. They could bite your hand off.
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Nicole Freire is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara.