If we've learned nothing this else this past year as a team here at YOUHANGIT, and we think universally, it's that things change really fast these days. Kids go from being defiers of potty training to ruining your garage with their science project in the blink of an eye. Marriages go from the seven-year itch to the "How many decades has it been now?" question in what seems like literally no time flat.
To put it bluntly: this, like any other holiday, could be the last time you're all together.
We don't say that to make you sad, but we do say it to hopefully move you to action. We want you to take a family portrait, no matter how much moaning, groaning, or hatred of matching sweaters there may be amongst you. It doesn't matter that Uncle Jack swears he's voting for Trump and Aunt Helen has said she'll file for divorce if he does. It doesn't matter that young cousin Geo (his birth name is John but he changed it mid-semester at community college, but whatever) is ironically basting his vegan Tofurky with real butter. It doesn't matter that your Mom tells that story of you in the tub every single year, or that your Dad can barely scrape himself from the chaise lounge to get to the table, even though he's DVRing games on five different channels. And of course, it matters not that your little sister stands strong with the NRA while also confirming her alliance to #BLM because she has no idea what is actually going on.
Let it go. They are your family and they are the only one life will ever throw at you. Sure, friends are family too. And no one understands that better than Team YOUHANGIT — our team is our family, so we understand the sentiment that "friends are the family you choose." We have worked hard like a family to bring our line of picture hanging products to you, and so much is going our way: We're now on Amazon and in Michael's craft stores across the country. But none of what we accomplished would have happened if each member of our team had not come to us with their special way of looking at the world and the tools we brought with us from the core blood families we came from.
That's why we're asking you to take a Thanksgiving family portrait. And here are a few pointers.
Take your photo before everyone is ravenous, but not after eating: you don't want the look of a a pack of wild wolves ready for the kill, and conversely, you don't want everyone showing their tryptophan haze.
Pick the photo location ahead of time: The last thing you want is for everyone to finally say, "Okaaaaaay!" and then you're scrambling to think of where to take the photo. Whether it's the back yard, by the dining table, in front of your house, or by the old man's 1959 Belvedere, have that spot picked out before the mob can attack you for being ill-prepared.
No surprise photo attacks: Let everyone know you WILL be taking a photo and tell them to wear something halfway decent — they can bring hobo clothes to change into afterwards if that's what makes them happy — just get them there.
Don't take no for an answer: Yes, you can withhold your famous mashed potatoes, and yes, there will be a walkout by the chef if no photo is taken. Let people know what the stakes are so they know what they are saying no to.
Don't fear the very impermanent boyfriends/girlfriends: Listen, these days, anyone can be Photoshopped out of an image. Or, you can do the old, "Okay now just the guys, okay, now just the ladies, okay, now just the kids, okay, now just family..." and so on.
After everything is said and done, the whole thing shouldn't take more than 15 minutes at most — and it will give you have a frame-worthy photograph to last through the generations.
After all, this could be the last time you sit around a table with all these crazy people. Love them, hate them, or a little of both, they're the only shot you have at family this lifetime. But of course, we totally support you heading out for a drink with friends later that night or meeting them for mimosas the following morning — totally justified.