Too Many Images.... Christmas?
My little kids begin to sing Christmas songs…. Mmm I think we sing Christmas songs all year, I'll admit it. Those songs are especially awesome when on Road trips. Which are almost always (ALWAYS) photo related. Everyone knows the words and it’s easy to scream at the top of your lungs - “sing loud and clear for all to hear”.
In addition to the enjoyable road songs to sing, my youngest was born at the beginning of December and consequently he always LOVES Christmas, so much so that even just a few years ago when he was about 7 or 8 he came to me with his santa hat, a mustache from the Frozen Pizza box (what is that brand that you can punch out the mustache and stick it up your nose?) That one and a ….. wait for it… a white plastic trash bag.
Tahdah… Victor’s version of Santa.
So you could say we like Christmas. Funny thing is I don’t end up taking a lot of Christmas pictures… like day of or unwrapping, etc… I used to be pretty diligent about trying to get those Christmas cards out - one of my favorites in recent memory was “jumping for Christmas” or something. I made the kids - four at the time, when everyone still lived at home (boohoo - kids leaving home is another story) - I made them all wear shorts but with winter coats and hats and jump up - mmmhmmm catch four kids clicking their heals and I’ll show you a decent
photographer — teehee. It’s a pretty cute picture and probably the last Christmas card, which is kind of a bummer and kind of makes me want to do one now… like that one year we did a portrait thing at Walmart - yikes - there are still a bunch of those cluttering some drawer.
Don’t we all kind of remember those weird Christmas cards? Whether we were the parents or the children?… They do end up being a good marker, as goofy as they were. Do people still do them? I see studios set up for Christmas minis and such and have been tempted to set up my micro studio to handle this type of scene… Last year I set it up all white and Rosa and I did a Nutcracker photoshoot. She had been begging me to get her a tutu and Amazon was more than happy to oblige. The adoring public has only seen three of them….
I don’t remember my family doing those Christmas cards growing up, but I do remember there was always a newsletter of sorts that would go out in three languages to friends and family strewn across the land. I also remember getting the tree was a big deal. In western Montana in the middle of winter this was a challenge but a fun one to be sure… and everyone always had a differing opinion as to which tree was the perfect tree. Again, probably something many people remember.
I think maybe the traditions are what make Christmas more special than yesterday… Hauling out decorations that one hasn’t seen in a year, kind of exciting as a child and really kind of fun as an adult too. We have ornaments from family - we did that for a while too, traded ornaments between families. I took to scribbling the year and who it came from on the bottom - brilliance knowing that in years to come I wouldn’t remember. A lot of families have oodles of foody traditions, Aunt so and so’s casserole or cousin blah blah’s cookies. I have tried to do these things and have succeeded… for a few years and then… I forget or run out of time.
We don’t search for the perfect tree any more unless searching in the attic counts and even that has become a non-challenge with all my efforts to “organize” stuff - there is that small element of danger that you might step wrong and go through the ceiling… ummm yes, that happened.
Soooo, no matter how you carve the turkey or the ham or what ever the speciality is… there are always snaps - more now than before - thank you, iPhone. And I am finding that new traditions are being made and adopted by the kids, each in their way… the way they remember it should be… I have let go of the “it needs to be this way” mentality and embraced just those days as they melt from awkward summertime howling to joyful, out of tune, singing with the muzak in the stores. The big kids have their own homes and new ideas, trims and traditions. They come “home” to the same ol plastic tree we have had for God ever and see the ornaments they put up for years and years, their favorites and the stories that go along with them…. And all those images, printed and non, flood in. Christmas gifts, might just be all of those memories…. Printed and non - because there are never too many images.
> A few Christmas photos from the past - The year we were in Korea and made a cardboard Tree, also when we were at Ft Bragg and had a Branch Christmas tree and I thought it would be funny for "wrap" items in food boxes (pretty sure Papa was deployed - as this is when my weirdy ideas actually make it to the concrete). Then the year we had a new baby-two legs and a few years later a 4 legged baby. Some more traditional Christmases when we got our house here in Sanford... a bit tougher now with the big kids on their own... I'll have to redouble my efforts to create time stamps this year.
> here are just a few from the OLD photo albums - My siblings and I watching Dad unwrap his can of tabaccy - gonna say circa '73 - as I look to be about 2? Then Dad thrilled to get a pants hanger - I mean who wouldn't be excited about that - circa '77 (Grandma in the background). Then the year we got cross country skis - those were the bomb-diggity (I still have the dolly I am unwrapping). Lastly, the PK era (Pre-Kyra) - my mom center, flanked by my German grands - gauging from the furniture it was our house... in Des Moines - maybe.
I am honored to have captured a few memories for families this year and look forward to oodles more in 2022. Thank You for sharing a few minutes of your life to ponder images and thoughts.
> A few Christmas sessions over the years - so blessed to be part of them