This time of year we’re all grateful to be able to spend quality, even raucous and perhaps occasionally stressful, time with family. And for those who aren’t with us anymore, to feel the love and remember the relationship we had with them.
One of the most rewarding aspects of our profession is capturing the essence of family members when photographing weddings. Just yesterday morning we received an email from the mother of a 2012 bride, telling us the groom’s granddad had just passed away. It’s an honor to often have created the last professional images of many our clients’ families, as it was with this groom’s grandfather (in his Army uniform on his grandson’s wedding day, just beaming with pride). Similarly, given that our respective parents and grandparents are now gone, this time of year can be bittersweet. We’re especially grateful to have items and photographs that remind us of the love we shared with them and to be able to celebrate with our siblings.
Just hearing Johnny Mathis singing O Holy Night, one of my mom’s favorites during the holiday season can bring tears to my eyes as a flood of memories from Christmas’s past swirl around in my head. I often find myself avoiding listening to Christmas carols until well into December lest melancholy hit too often, because it is such a fun & festive season. Simply getting to spend some much needed downtime with family is sweeter than any material gift I could receive. While I wish our parents could be with us physically to watch their grandson’s face (our nephew) light up when Santa brings him something he wished for, I know they are indeed with us. Keeping them in our hearts and minds during the holidays is important to us and one way we do that is with our Christmas tree ornaments.
From before I was born, when my parents were first married, to the early 90’s when my father passed away, my Mom hand made a Christmas tree ornament each December, often over a hundred, to give to family and friends along with our card. A different ornament every year. To say people looked forward to seeing what she came up with and their excitement when receiving it would be an understatement. The time, love, and care she put into them let all the recipients know just how much she loved and cared for them. While I don’t think I inherited the crafty, DIY gene from her, I definitely inherited the obsession of putting together something important for our family, friends and colleagues–hence our holiday cards, but more on those later.
Some of our favorite ornaments that make our tree every year….
These were some snowflake photo ornaments we found at Pottery Barn several yeas ago. Love them and wish we had gotten more. We have more photos we need to add!
Our two kitties who are no longer with us, but are definitely not forgotten.
Anne at 5 years old with the ornament (complete with glitter and lace) that she made in kindergarten.
Gotta get some A&B love on there, of course!
Do lawyers put ornaments of briefs and summons on their holiday trees? Well….
Ornament Anne gave to Bill our first Christmas as Mr. & Mrs. in 2001.
Photo from our first ski trip together. Back in the late 90’s. Whoa.
Ceramic ornament from Paloma’s Nest commemorating our marriage in New Orleans…
…one of our favorite cities and where we bought this Fleur de Lis wooden ornament on a return trip a few years ago.
And some of Anne’s Mom’s ornaments…gingerbread house (S is for Stitt!) with a door and windows that open to reveal…
…our holiday greeting and photos of Anne and her brother Andy from that year. Love seeing my Mom’s handwriting.
And since 2014 was apparently the year for selfies (does anyone else pretty much loathe that word, btw?)….
Our little Charlie Brown tree.
And a few of our other holiday decorations because, well, why not?
These sweet little carolers have lights that blink on and off. It was one of my Mom’s favorite decorations and it came out every year. The caroler’s light on the right burned out years ago, but the other two are still keeping it going. Apparently you can’t change them so when those go, it’ll be a sad day, but for now they make us smile and who doesn’t need some carolers on their bar cart? So far they haven’t snuck any of the tequila, but we’re keeping a close eye on them.
Can we just say how much we love getting cards from friends and clients that have our photos on them? Love this, Joe & Rick!
For those of you that celebrate Christmas, we’d love to see some of the favorite ornaments on your tree!
Whatever holiday you happen to celebrate this season, we hope it’s with those you love the most. As for our wedding couples, our family and our friends — we love and cherish you all and are so happy to have you in our lives. You make them so much richer.