Crafty Family Creates Cringeworthy Christmas Cards

(Imgur/berjon1)

Whether it’s a recent vacation pic or staged studio portraits, Christmas cards are often used as an opportunity to showcase one’s perfect little family.

This is not the case for the Bergerons.

Since 2003, Mike and Laura Bergeron have celebrated the holidays by creating some of the most cringeworthy Christmas cards we have ever seen. They’ve done everything from 80s glam to white trash chic, and only got more creative after the birth of their daughters, lovingly known online as “Gigi” and “Juju.”

“It would be a way to show the people we loved that we were thinking about them during the holidays and also a way to make them smile amidst the chaos and stress of the season,” Mike told Bored Panda.

Big shout out to JC Penney and their illustrious portrait studio for putting up with the bevy of Bergeron shenanigans over the years.

(Imgur/berjon1)

2003 – Forty & Fighting It

The one that started it all. Originally called ‘Plugs & Jugs’ (due in large part to Laura’s hidden overly-augmented rack), the Bergerons had to change the name when this particular shot—the goofy smiles in particular—spoke to them.

“The photographer tried to move the light away from overhead and I had to ask her to shine it directly down on me,” Mike wrote. “She didn’t know how to tell me that it was reflecting off of my head and making me look like I was balding. Finally, I just told her that the balding look was what I was after. She had no idea that we were dressed up in costumes!”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2004 – We’re Dreaming of a White Trash Xmas

While picking up this year’s cards, Mike had to engage with a JC Penney manager who was clearly feeling the holiday sales crunch.

As Mike recalls:

MANAGER: Welcome to JC Penney Portrait Studio, how can I help you today, sir?
MIKE: I’m here to pick up my Christmas cards.
MANAGER: Okay, what is your last name?
MIKE: It’s Bergeron, but I have my receipt right here if that helps.
MANAGER: Okay, thank you. Give me just a moment while I get your order. Sir, it appears they accidentally printed an 8×10, which is usually $19.99, but we’ll let you have it for $5 since it was our mistake.”
MIKE: No thanks.
MANAGER: Okay…well, I see that your wife is pregnant… I hope you will be coming back to JC Penney to take your baby pictures.
MIKE: [smiling at the realization that she doesn’t get the joke] Actually, she’s not pregnant… and if she were, I wouldn’t let her drink beer or smoke cigarettes…and, as you can see, I don’t have a mullet. It’s a joke card.

In the midst of what was utter chaos for her at that moment, she just sort of stared at Mike in bewilderment as the cashier next to her stopped what he was doing, leaned over to look at the card and said with pure and utter excitement, “Dude, that’s awesome!”

MIKE: Thanks. Merry Christmas!

As Mike took the cards and walked away, the manager stood in absolute confusion, her brain apparently frozen with the realization that her sales training had failed to prepare her for that rare situation.

(Imgur/berjon1)

2005 – Your Aunt & Uncle Who Live In The Midwest

According to Mike, Bergeron men are notorious for going bald. At the age of 32, he foresaw the coming reckoning for his precious hair follicles and decided to go all on on the balding joke before it became a reality.

“The thing is, I had to walk around with a bald head for a couple of weeks while the holiday card was processing and shipping, but I didn’t want to give anyone any hints about what the card might be,” Mike explained.

“So, when people would ask me why I suddenly shaved all of the hair off of my head, I would give them some made-up excuse like, ‘I joined a cult’ or, ‘I’m a racist’ or, ‘Chicks really seem to like that Vin Diesel guy, so I thought I’d give it a shot.'”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2006 – A Very Special Christmas

A rare re-creation of another Christmas card, the Bergerons decided to honor another awkward holiday couple.

“A couple of years before we started this tradition, my friend, Jeremy, worked during the holidays in a photo studio,” Mike said.

“If he thought that a family portrait was particularly funny, he would print a copy for himself and put it on display in his living room. They were all awkward and wonderful in their own way, but there was one photo, in particular, that was so delightfully goofy and uncomfortable that it has always stuck with me. This card is an effort to recreate the magic of that card. I’ll be the first to admit that we fall terribly short, but I think it still manages to bring some joy to the holiday season!”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2007 – American Gothic Christmas

The Bergerons admittedly caught some flak for this more or less photoshopped Christmas card.

“For those who love it, thanks… we love you, too,” Mike wrote. “For those who feel we cheated… look, we actually dressed-up in costumes and took a photograph for this card (we even bought a pitchfork!).”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2008 – Merry Krishnas

“We got started a little late this year, which meant that when we went to JC Penney to take our picture, there was a one hour wait,” Mike explained. “We walked through the mall and wound up eating dinner in the food court. I only wish that we had brought flowers.”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2009 – Los Cholos

This year marked the Bergeron’s favorite Christmas favorite card to date.

“Again, on this particular year, we weren’t able to take the picture until after Thanksgiving,” Mike wrote. “So the JC Penney photo studio was bustling, and we had to wait for an hour to get in. Understandably so, Laura was nervous about walking around the Westminster Mall looking like we did, but I reassured her by saying, ‘Seriously? Look at us… nobody is going to fuck with us!’ I was right… not a single person would even make eye contact with us.”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2010 – Olin Mills Family Portrait from 1981

Not only did this year ramp up the horrible awkwardness to all new heights, but it was also “Gigi’s” first ridiculous Christmas card experience.

“On a side note,” Mike explains. “As a bald man who has known his entire life that he would grow up to be bald, it had been a longtime aspiration of mine to sport a combover at some point because they are so fascinating in their ridiculousness! So, this particular card allowed me to not only fulfill a lifelong dream but also to capture it in all of its glory for the ages.”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2011 – The Unibrows

Despite the inherent greatness of a thick unibrow, Mike belives things could have gone better in 2011.

“Don’t get me wrong, we look funny and Gigi really gives the card a whole other dynamic with her incredible cuteness, but I think this concept had the potential to be our best card ever, if we had done it right.”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2012 – Goth Xmas

No explanation needed. Just take it in.

(Imgur/berjon1)

2013 – Jazz Hands

Oh boy. 2013 was a year of spirit, shine, and awkward bulges.

“Sometimes you catch lightning in a bottle,” Mike wrote. “Look at Laura… bringing it! Look at Gigi… bringing it! Look at Juju… well, protesting (at least she’s consistent). I am truly blessed.”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2014 – The Holidays Are Such a Drag

Sometimes you witness something so special, few words can be said that can truly encapsulate the magic.

“I had to hunt high and low for shoes that would fit me (thanks Lane Bryant) and, of course, I shaved my legs, so you can imagine how excited I was that we wound up choosing a shot from the waist up. And, seriously, how friggin’ cute are those boys? If we had given Gigi glasses, I think she would’ve looked an awful lot like Ralphie!”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2015 – Les Modèles (AKA Fashionistas, AKA Euro Trash)

Some years, you look goofy. Other years, you just look fly as hell.

Mike summed it up best:

“His shoes – $850, her shoes – $950, spending your holiday with the Bergerons – priceless.

(Imgur/berjon1)

2016 – Cussin Jerry Nem

“A little over a year ago, Gigi started calling me ‘Cousin Jerry,'” Mike explained. “It caught on with her little sister and, after a while, I started talking to them as I imagined Cousin Jerry would. Since then, he has become a regular visitor in our household, so it seemed fitting to share him with all of you this holiday season.”

He probably has a metal plate in his head and a propensity for the phrase, “Shitter’s full.”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2017 – Gingers in Paradise

A rare year that didn’t include JC Penney’s portrait studio, the Bergeron’s didn’t let that stop them from going all out.

“This was our nod to the ever-so-popular holiday card theme that says, ‘Look at us soaking up the sun’s rays in a beautiful tropical paradise while you’re freezing your nuts off… don’t you wish you were us?'”

(Imgur/berjon1)

2018 – The West Texans

This year, the Bergeron girls got all “prettied up” while leaving the creepy awkwardness to Mom and Dad. Clearly feeling confident in her duds, Gigi had no problem telling everyone at JC Penney exactly who runs their portrait studio every Christmas.

“Gigi was quick to let the staff know that we are famous,” Mike wrote. “Laura then told Gigi that, ‘You’re not famous if you have to tell people that you are famous.'”

“After we did our various poses and finished the photo shoot, I showed the staff our catalog of cards on my phone and, sure enough, one of them said with a smile, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve seen these before!’ So, Gigi was right. We are famous… it’s just that nobody knows what any of us looks like since we’re pretending to be different people in all of our cards. So, it seems that we Bergerons have our own unique brand of fame – to be seen by many, yet recognizable to no one!”

Bergerons, we salute you. See you in 2019!

Tweet Roundup: The Funniest Tweets About Winter…With Children

(Getty/Elizabeth Sallee Bauer)

Gloves, hats, mitts, boots, snow pants, jackets and the dreaded snow day. These are just a few of the hardships people who parent in cold climates have to endure.

Here are the funniest tweets about winters…with children.

If you have kids in school, winter can be especially frustrating.

So try to look at every snow day as a blessing.

Sure, you could use the weather as an excuse to be lazy inside.

But that will quickly try your patience.

So take the young’ns outside and make the most of it!

First, you gonna wanna bundle them up.

Be sure to invest in a nice coat they’ll hate.

Like, HATE hate.

Don’t forget the mittens. They will.

Ready to head out?

Perfect! Time to build a snowman. Round up an old scarf, a carrot, and okay they’re already bored.

Cool. Great.

Plenty to do inside.

8-Minute Short Film About a Dad and Son Will Hit You in the Feels [WATCH]

(YouTube/Pepe School Land)

Short film Alike highlights an all too common theme in parenting but in a fun, whimsical way. It opens with a father loading up his son’s backpack with an unreasonable number of textbooks. The son, seen joyfully running around the house, is instantly anchored to the ground when his dad straps it around his tiny shoulders.

Acclimating to the bag’s immense weight, the boy happily wobbles out of frame. His father grabs an equally heavy work briefcase and follows suit out the door.

On their walk to work/school, the boy spots a violin player in the center of town and is instantly captivated by the performance. Surrounded by grey buildings, grey cars, and grey pedestrians, the boy, father, and violinist appear to be the only things in color.

Despite his son’s obvious enchantment with the musician, the father reminds his son of their responsibilities, slips the backpack full of books back on his son, and leads him back into the drab, colorless environment of the city. Clearly, this severe lack of color isn’t a simple design choice.

After a quick embrace, the father departs from his son’s school and heads to a dead end, soul-crushing job. Surrounded by menial tasks, the color literally drains out of him. Watching the clock with dull grey eyes, he counts the minutes until he’s free to leave, his color only returning when he’s with his jubilant son once again.

The son, however, retains his color initially—daydreaming about the violinist and the way the music made him feel, but he’s told day after day that his passions are not appropriate. As time wears on, his color also begins to dwindle and he’s forced to leave his interests behind to conform to the other students.

In a behind the scenes video, the film’s co-director Daniel Martinez Lara explains how fatherhood means constantly asking ourselves what the best things are for our children at any given moment. We try our best and don’t always get it right. This film doesn’t answer that question per se but acts as a reflection of that process.

This is the reason the father and son characters are playfully known to the film crew as “Copi” and “Paste.” We often consider our children to be miniature extensions of ourselves rather than unique individuals with dreams, desires, and personalities. Alike begins with Copi dragging Paste through the motions of what he believes life should be. It isn’t until he listens and acknowledges his son’s passions as legitimate that a genuine connection is established once again.

Parenting can often be viewed as a long list of “shoulds” and “musts,” but it’s also an opportunity to see your children for what they are: amazing people. So, while we have a responsibility to teach and guide our kids, so they don’t become garbage human beings when they grow up, it can also be important to stop and just let them listen to the music every once in a while. You never know what you might learn as a result.

Dad Grades: Homer Simpson From The Simpsons

(20th Century Fox)

D’oh! In whole year we’ve been doing Dad Grades, we’ve neglected to offer analysis for one of the most iconic, influential, beloved dads in the history of pop culture: Homer J. Simpson. Let’s jump right into it.

STRENGTHS

By the end of any episode surrounding him and his kids, Homer Simpson has revealed himself to be, deep down, a caring and devoted father. Jumping the Springfield Gorge on skateboard to earn Bart’s respect.

Working two jobs to afford Lisa’s dream pony.

And as far as Maggie goes, who could forget this tug at the heartstrings?

 

WEAKNESSES

Wow. Okay. Where to begin. Chokes his son, for starters.

The first sketch of Homer strangling Bart (1988)

We know this is the same unrealistic cartoon violence they themselves satirize by way of Itchy & Scratchy, but we’d be remiss to omit that piece of information from this very serious analysis. Yikes.

Look at this.

That’s a mace.

Don’t worry. All uphill from here. Drinks excessively, can’t forget that one. Again, fully aware cartoons operate within their own system of both physics and ethics, so we’re good on smug comments condemning the actions of Wile E. Coyote or whatever. You knew this damn well this Dad Grade had to happen at some point.

(20th Century Fox)

Kept Bart out of school for some time to start a business that amounted to stealing and reselling grease. Multiple crimes in that sentence.

(20th Century Fox)

Oh yeah, DANGEROUSLY stupid. Jumped over Springfield Gorge on a skateboard Did we include that as a strength? Yeah, that was a dumb thing for him to do. I mean, a DRAWBRIDGE closed on his head one time.

Just an unprecedented level of ineptitude, really. A horrible example to set for your kids. We here at The Dad do not take such reckless abandon lightly.

You know what? Let’s just stop with drawbridge on head. Doing a deep-dive on the paternal competency of Homer Simpson is like watching footage of hot dogs being made. Trust us, best to just throw some relish on that bad boy and enjoy it for what it is.

VERDICT

Over the past year, we at Dad Grades have offered analyses on countless TV and movie dads, all the while priding ourselves on doing so with both accountability and fairness. We aim for complete objectivity throughout every one of these super serious evaluations that should be taken seriously. We do not like what we’re about to do any more than you do. It is with a heavy heart that we give our very first…

FINAL DAD GRADE: F

Check out our previous edition when we graded Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor!

Dad Builds Wheelchair-Accessible Igloo for His 9 Adopted Kids

(Reddit/danthoms)

Parenting is a tough gig. We’re all doing the best we can, trudging through, mostly happy to survive another day without blowing it too badly.

Then we run across some parents who are doing more than merely surviving, they’re crushing it on every level, and making us look like amateurs. Like the Cincinnati dad who built an igloo for his kids, complete with wheelchair access. Nine kids. All of whom have special needs. All of whom they’ve adopted.

If I had nine kids, I wouldn’t have the energy to get out of bed, let alone build an igloo, let alone add a ramp to the igloo! Gregg Eichhorn is a superhero, and so is his wife Katie.

“We adopt all medical and special needs kids because seems like those are the kids where they have the hardest time finding homes for them,” Eichhorn told CBS.

His oldest, 19-year-old Zahara, was adopted from Uganda. She is non-verbal and uses a wheelchair, but she had no problem rolling into the enormous snow fort her dad built with his sister. She couldn’t wait to get in there.

“Her face lit up – she gets super excited,” Eichhorn said of Zahara’s reaction when she saw the igloo. “I think she felt like a movie star.”

He wasn’t the only one! Elijah, Zahara’s brother, also uses a wheelchair, was excited about the igloo. All nine of the Eichhorn kids were.

“They’re all loving it. They think it’s really neat,” Superdad said.

Obviously. Who wouldn’t want a badass igloo like that in their yard!

Reddit agrees. One of Gregg’s friends posted about the igloo on Reddit and it immediately took off, garnering over 70,000 upvotes and nearly 1000 comments as people shared their admiration for the dad, and for his handiwork.

Card

Card

Eichhorn is happy for the extra attention his viral post is bringing to special needs children who need homes.

“I think it’s really important that all kids with medical and special needs that are orphans have people to step up and provide them with homes.”

Dad Lands Vacation Dates for Sons With Funny Classified Ad

(NZ Herald/Facebook)

If you reach a certain age and aren’t in a relationship, parents simply can’t accept it. In their eyes, you are their little prince or princess and anyone would be damn lucky to be with you.

So, bless their hearts, they do their best to help you out with setting up blind dates and plan, planning social events, or just incessant prodding about their need for grandchildren.

One particular dad from Portland, Oregon went above and beyond, however, when he placed an ad for not one, but all three of his sons in a New Zealand newspaper while they were there on vacation.

(Facebook)

“Hello Parents. We are from the States (Oregon), visiting your beautiful country. My wife and I have three wonderful, successful, handsome, alas unmarried, sons between the ages of 28-32,” the ad in the NZ Herald read.

“We are not expecting, just hoping, to introduce our sons to nice NZ daughters. At the very least we’ll embarrass our sons and the truth is, we do find some enjoyment in that.”

Neil, the proactive father, said the ad immediately received over 200 replies and he was doing his best to sort through them all since his sons still had no idea any of it was happening.

“I’m somewhat surprised that I have got quite a lot of responses,” he said.

“It is hard to tell how many are genuine. A few are maybe just scammers but for the most part, people are really amazingly nice in your country.”

(NZ Herald/NewsTalk ZB)

Neil’s sons—Matthew, Jeremy, and Benjamin—range from ages 26 to 31 and all have steady jobs in the Pacific Northwest region. According to their dad, though, their dating lives haven’t really been a serious focus for any of them.

“I know one of my sons uses these dating sites and is always going on introductory dates and meeting somebody, but he hasn’t had a serious relationship in quite a while,” Neil told the newspaper.

“I decided to help. I have no idea what will happen, but at least we will be able to meet some people.”

Neil says he’s still deciding when and how to tell his sons about the ad, probably waiting until they are actually on the flight to New Zealand or casually slipping it in while they disembark.

“I might say, ‘Oh, by the way, I did place a little ad for you guys’,” he chuckled.

“I am sure they will be surprised and annoyed, but I am sure they will laugh. We have a good relationship and are always joking with each other. They know I am a little unusual in that regard.”

As it turns out the brothers were all good sports about it. In total the ad sparked more than 600 responses and even resulted in a few dates.

“Between my brothers and I, we went on a few one-on-one dates,” Benjamin told the Daily Mail.

“[New Zealand women] are very intelligent, kind, friendly people. We love their accents. They were a lot of fun, everyone we met seemed nice.

“I think we will continue to stay in touch with the people we met. We really want to come back – it was a beautiful country.”

Father Figures: Unconventional and Unexpected

“We were 10 months into marriage as 23-year-olds, new to NYC. Jake was in grad school at Columbia while we were getting used to living in our 400 sq. ft. studio in Washington Heights. His mechanical engineering midterms were coming up, so I made some freezer meals and went to CA to visit my family while he studied and took tests.

Two days into my trip home, we got a call from an old friend to adopt her sweet baby girl.

While my saying yes was immediate, I of course knew I should probably consult my husband! So I called him, around midnight his time, and asked him if we could keep her! (This is possibly what caused him to go grey at 25?)

He replied, “What? Is that allowed? Of course! We have to do the right thing,” and watching him meet her a week later was the most special experience. It was an unconventional and unexpected way to enter into parenting, but he is absolutely crushing the dad game and it’s as if the dad jokes started immediately.

It’s like something releases in the brain once you’re wildly in love with your kids. He’s holding off on the white leather New Balances for now, but causes our daughter, Stella Grace, to light up with his imaginative play and jumping on the trampoline.

He even said it’d be okay to have a few more kids, and he just bought me a minivan, so I assume that means he wants to max it out! I’m thankful for the father he is!”

– Monique Coleman

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Frosty the Snowman Stops Vehicular Vandals in Their Tracks

(Cody Lutz Media)

Sometimes things just work out perfectly.

Cody Lutz of Petersberg, KY enjoyed the recent snowfall in the “Bluegrass State” by constructing a giant 9-foot-tall snowman with his fiancee and soon-to-be sister-in-law.

Lutz commented in a Facebook post that his fiancee’s sister was “elated to experience the biggest snowfall she’s ever seen.”

(Cody Lutz Media)

Using a giant tree stump as a foundation for “Frosty,” this giant snow fellow was about as sturdy as they come. So much so, in fact, that he survived a head-on collision with a would-be vandal’s car.

When Lutz cam home later that day, he noticed tire tracks leading up to the snowman from the road. Clearly, some motorist out there had vehicular snowmanslaughter on the mind but underestimated all the junk in Frosty’s trunk.

(Cody Lutz Media)

The snowman looks a little worse for wear with the tree stump in its base now exposed, but the snowy imprint of the bumper definitely adds some flair.

“You reap what you sow,” Lutz said. “Still standing and still smiling, Frosty certainly had the last laugh!”

The Best Comments of the Week 1/20

(Getty)

Every week we pan for comedy gold in the comments section of our Facebook posts. If your comment cracks us up (or warms our hearts) we’ll showcase it here!

Here’s this week’s roundup of the Best Comments of the Week:

1. GO. TO. SLEEP.

2. Dirty Dishes

3. Memories

4. Capri-Fun 

5. Likes Gas

6. Survival

7. Vision

8. Go Away

9. Strikes

10. The New Jr. 

11. Switch

12. Drive

13. Blinded by the Lights

14. 30 Minutes or Free

15. Important Date

Check out the previous edition of our The Best Comments of the Week here.