Picture The Holidays - Day 25
Chances are today you'll find yourself amongst family or friends celebrating one another and this glorious season. I don't have to remind you to take your camera, that's for sure! But even while you're in documentary mode, try finding something off the beaten path.
Turn your lens toward something that sheds light on the day. A detail, angle, or perspective that tells the story beyond any traditional portrait.
I had a particular shot in mind for this prompt, but the first thing that caught my eye to photograph on Christmas day was this little display by the tree. The trumpet is my son Adam's horn, and I was struck by the love and care that went into creating the spirit of his presence while he is still so far from home. This will mean a lot to him.
The setting brought to mind the Christmas that Adam performed Christmas songs for us on his trumpet with an accompaniment track and how surprisingly moving it was for all of us.
It has been a "chin up" Christmas this year as 2011 has been (to quote Charles Dickens)the best of times and the worst of times. It seems that just about everyone in my family has had some sort of health problem, grief, or other undue amount of stress, not to mention one of us being in a war zone.
Our little clan survived the year, some of us barely, as I woke to the news this morning that my sister was taken to the ER with pneumonia last night. She's going to be ok, but she gave us quite a scare.
My other son, Andrew, was away this year having the "New York" exprience for Christmas with his girlfriend. We missed him, but by all reports, he's had a good time and there is something quite magical about Manhattan at Christmas. I'm glad he had the chance to do this. He called just as we were gathering to eat and dad put him on the speaker phone and asked him to give the blessing. It was a sweet, thoughtful and memorable prayer.
Collectively, we bear one another's burdens as our own and its a real testimony to the power of love and strength of spirit that we all manged to to laugh and play joyfully together - what with my sister hacking up a lung, the dogs trying to either kill eachother (or get down - it was hard to tell), and missing Adam, Katie, Andrew and MaMa & Pa.
Come to think of it, maybe it was more of a testimony to the wine.
All kidding aside, memories were made and we will recall the day with joyful anecdotes to share on Christmases future:
- Uncle Otis rocking his new leather motorcyle vest so hard that my sister and I both considered stealing him away from aunt Sissie (it's OK - we aren't blood related and it wouldn't matter anyway since we are in Tennessee after all)
- Dad hanging up on Andrew after he said "amen."
- Watching the "It's Him!" video for the umpteenth time and laughing at "hairlip Santa Claus."
- Sissie's "warm hugs" blankets she gave to all of us.
- Mom's rolls, dressing (its all good, but these I especially love) and how much care she puts into setting a festive scene for us. Oh, and how could I forget the blank check she gave me. :)
- The way we always manage to end up with as many desserts as we have people.
- The discovery of a string holding up the mantle on a photo of my dad's childhood home (inside joke - "it's a Kittrell thing")
- Embarrassing cousin Amanda by showing her boyfriend videos of her 80's "mall bang" phase. :) They both took it really well, I think.
I took a few pictures, but not that many really.
As much as I'd love to shoot my family (not a Freudian slip, I promise...) I chose to be more a part of the magic and less unofficial family photographer. However, the Christmas tree was one of the prettiest we've had though so I'll leave you with this today and see what leftovers I can get into.