The Giudice Family 2013 Christmas Card Is Not Very Jolly & We Know Why

I've stared at the Real Housewives of New Jersey's Giudice family Christmas card for 15 minutes. I saw it, assumed it was Photoshopped, and went about my morning. BUT THEN! I saw that Teresa Giudice shared a photo of the very real poinsettia nursery where the portrait was taken. I… it's… how… no… does not compute. I cannot look at that Christmas card and honestly think, Yep. That family is standing in a real field of plants. I'd totally buy it if someone told me they posed in front of a wall. Not a green wall for Photoshopping purposes. A wall that was wallpapered with a photo of a poinsettia field.

Okay, I've forced myself to accept that the poinsettia field is real. I had to move on. And now I'm mesmerized by the expressions on the Giudice family's faces. On first glance, everything seems fine, but the more I look, the more I sense the "prison may be on the horizon, so let's take a family portrait" vibes. So grim. Teresa, Joe, and Gia put on their best "pretend like nothing's wrong" smiles. I think this is the first time I've ever seen Joe smile. That's his tell. And Milania, Gabriella, and Audriana's faces say everything: Things are a mess, and they'll only get worse in 2014. Ugh. I feel so bad for those kids.

"Kristie. This is a Christmas card. Stop reading into it. They're adorable," you say. Well, yes. The family looks adorable. But these are the Giudices we're talking about. The Giudices always go BIG with their cards. No, not quite Karashian kard-level big, but they've done some amazing and ridiculous cards in the past. Costumes are always involved. This card? No wings. No gingerbread houses. No costumes. Just poinsettias. No whimsy to be had. I guess the whimsy level of the photo represents the whimsy level of their current situation: very, very low.

You haven't seen the Giudice family's old Christmas cards? WELL! Go ahead and buckle that seat belt, because I'm about to take you on a trip. A trip through some Christmas portraits. Here are the Giudice Xmas cards, in "saddest card to best card ever" order:

Poinsettias (2013)

Oof. 2013 has not been a good year for Teresa or Joe. And fittingly, this gloomy card reflects the bummer year they've had. I have to stop looking at this picture. It's too sad. I don't think wings would fix it.

Chefs (2012)

This set is pretty cute (and a nice nod to mom Teresa's cookbooks), but it could use more wings.

Ice Princesses (2010)

Is that real ice? Needs more wings.

So. Much. Happening. (2011)

Those skirts and knee highs are incredible. Would rank higher if the kids were wearing wings.

Angels (2006)

WINGS!!!! ANGEL COSTUMES! A HARP! EVERYTHING IS PERFECT!

Fairies (2009)

Wait. WAIT. THIS is perfect. This is how you do Christmas cards. Take note, Kris Jenner.

Thanks for the memories, Giudice family. Thanks for the memories.

Images: Teresa Giudice/Bravo