If you're a fan of The Hills from back in the day, one thing we bet you thought you'd never see is a 2017 Spencer and Heidi Pratt holiday card. The couple has been together for almost a decade, stretching back to their time on the show, but it's been quite the bumpy ride getting here. But the surprises aren't over yet. Once your younger self has finished picking your jaw up off the ground about that part, get this: they have a baby and they're wearing sneakers. And the weirdest part yet? That's kind of the best part.
The reality show couple recently celebrated their nine year anniversary, and they have a yearly tradition of an annual Christmas card shoot that stretches all the way back to the beginning of their relationship. Once a year, the blondes invite photographers to capture them in their native habitat: celebrating. Whether they're at home around the tree or out in the wild for more of a candid, the pair rarely lets a year go by without a holiday card. In 2016, they dressed up as elves and were surrounded by their dogs. In 2015, they were Cindy Lou Who and the Grinch. In 2012 they posed for cameras at a Christmas tree farm as they cut down the perfect specimen by hand, red sweater, Santa hat and all.
In fact, it's a tradition that goes all the way back to the early days of the Celebrity Big Brother stars' relationship. Just look at these photos from 2008, when they kissed under mistletoe at yet another Christmas tree farm, in what we're pretty sure was designed to look like a candid photoshoot. (Because you're always immaculately dressed with perfect hair and makeup when you go pick out your Fraser fir, right?)
Because that's the common element from Speidi's previous photoshoots. No matter the year, no matter the location, no matter the activity, they're always perfectly pulled together and brimming with holiday spirit. Quite often the images are snapped by a photo agency called Splash News, whom the couple seems to be on good terms with, and released exclusively to MTV.
But the couple changed things up this year, and we're honestly really into it. Not that it isn't wonderful to get into the swing of things with costumes and beautifully-lit tableaux of your perfect life, but there are other ways to show holiday spirit. And that's why even though it isn't their fanciest card, the 2017 offering might be our favorite yet. In it, Spencer and Heidi Pratt pose with their new baby son, Gunner, and what looks like a mall Santa. The two-month old sleeps soundly through his first meeting with the jolly old elf, and his parents are in — gasp! — sneakers.
Heidi wears a plain shirt, fitted jeans, minimal makeup and casual footwear, and Spencer is similarly-clad in shorts and a tee with sneakers. But the best part of the whole photo is the smiles they're wearing, and how clearly delighted they are to all be together.
The photo wasn't professionally-snapped or picked up by an outlet; it was casually posted to Heidi's Instagram, with a simple caption explaining their attire. "It was a last-minute decision so we don’t look festive," she writes, before hashtagging #babysfirstchristmas. The growing family might not be decked out in any Christmas finery, but that doesn't mean the shot isn't festive. Somehow, it's even more heartwarming to see the ways that Speidi has changed as a couple over the years.
Some things stay, like their love for each other, and some things go, like the polished photoshoots. It's hard to maintain that level of planned-photo-shoot organization in your life once a baby enters it. But at the end of the day, this photo proves that Spencer and Heidi Pratt are normal, loving parents, just like any of us. And it will do your nostalgic heart proud to see them embracing the holiday spirit like this after all these years, jeans and sneakers and all.