What are your favorite holiday traditions?
Are there memories that take you back to your childhood? Those moments you look forward to or that help to define the traditions you take part in now. Routines like decorating the tree or leaving cookies out for Santa are what memories are built on. Maybe there are non-negotiable activities that are at the core of how you celebrate like making grandma’s stuffing recipe or hosting the entire family for a meal. It’s not even about the actual activity but how it brings people together, creating a sense of history and a feeling of home.
Now that I have you thinking about those moments, do you have photos of you and your family that incorporate those traditions? If you weren’t there to tell the story of your family’s traditions, how would others remember? You may not have photos of all of your childhood traditions but you can always start now.
I challenge you this holiday season to make a point of documenting your time as a family and what you want to remember. The mad dash to wrap presents, the cookie decorating, searching for that perfect tree, time spent with family and friends.
5 simple photography related holiday projects to get you thinking:
1) Take the time to write down your top 3 traditions for the holiday season. Explain why they are your favourites, where the original idea came from and why it is meaningful. Think about what specifically you want to remember about them or what you want your children to remember. Putting these down into words will help you to become more aware of the moments when they happen. Now, with your answers in mind, start taking photos to capture those traditions, to preserve those memories.
2) Document details: a favourite ornament, your child’s expression as they unwrap a gift, that mug of coffee waiting for you on the counter after getting up early, Christmas lights, snow covered yards. Any detail that reminds you of this time of year.
3) Dig out those holiday photos from years past and display them around the house. Print them, frame them or add a few as decorations to the tree. These personal mementos are a great way to decorate in a meaningful way. Leave them around to remind you of your childhood and to teach those you love about the traditions you grew up with.
4) Ask those closest to you what they love about the holidays and make an effort to capture those ideas in photos.
5) Holidays often center around food, food and more food. Do you have a family recipe that you can’t wait to pull out for the holidays? What about documenting the process of making the dish with others and a photo of the dish before it is devoured? Or maybe take a photo of everyone gathered around the table as the meal is served to capture the end result of all of that work.
Don’t forget to get in the picture as well – use that timer or remote if you have one and snap a few that include you.