Around this time of year, you probably have a bookcase, refrigerator, or mantle that’s covered in Christmas cards from friends and family. Most of them probably look the same: smiling faces, matching sweaters, maybe a dog or two, and “Happy Holidays” written with a flourish.
Reddit user u/kakalacky_guy said to hell with that. His Christmas cards eschew banal cuteness for creative pandemonium, with the mission of capturing “the essence of raising kids.” Mission accomplished.
He posted six cards in total, and each one has the complex composition of a Renaissance painting. The 2014 edition cleverly uses a dual exposure to show mom and dad chasing after the kids in the background while holding a baby and looking exhausted in the foreground. The following year, a tree in the front yard is about to come down on a toddler thanks to the operation of a chainsaw by one of the older kids as mom and dad look horrified and rush out the front door.
“Santa Stop Here Ben Gud” reads a sign on the 2016 card, hung carefully by the kids at the top of a ladder that they definitely shouldn’t have climbed. Swap that out for a car decorated and labeled with “North Pole or Bust!!” the following year.
Last year’s card featured the two older kids—they’ve really grown up!—holding a pole with their baby sister hanging off of it, about to place the star at the top of the Christmas tree.
The 2019 card might be their best yet. A banner hung on the garage reads “Fly Like Santa! 5¢,” advertising a scheme in which one kid pilots a drone while the other hangs on for dear life. Again, mom and dad are rushing frantically to stop the danger, which is as succinct a summation of parenting as we’ve ever seen.