“Let’s try a picture around the fireplace.” (We cram ourselves awkwardly in front of the wood stove in our living room.) “Didn’t we do this spot last year? Let’s do a picture on the couch instead.” (We migrate to the couch.) “I think we did this once before also. What about around the rocking chair?” (We position ourselves around the rocking chair.) “Do you think if I sit, that I could get the cat to sit on my lap?”
When I was younger, I was convinced that my mother would do this to us just to torment us. I’ve since learned that the real reason we took so many pictures was because it’s practically impossible to get even ONE decent picture of our entire family from one roll of film: In this one, someone’s blinking. In this one, someone isn’t smiling. In this one, the lighting is poor. In this one, we all look washed-out. In this one, we all look impatient. In this one, the cat is having a panic attack from being held too long.
But tradition is tradition. Each year we suffered through an hour or more of “photo experimentation” to increase our chances of getting a good picture.
Interestingly, 2007 marks the first year where I won’t see my family for the Holiday Season — and I’m saddened by the fact that my parents won’t be sending out a 2007 Family Christmas Photo. Once I realized this, I pulled out my photo collection and started looking through past years.
All I can say is, “Where has the time gone?”
1988 was missing from my collection…
1995 and 1996 were missing from my collection…
1998 was missing from my collection…
2000 was missing from my collection…
2003, 2004, and 2005 were missing from my collection…
After looking through these photos, I felt disappointed that I was missing some pictures. Was this because I only took a small box of pictures with me when I moved to Michigan this year? Or was this because there were a few years where my family and I became so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season that we forgot to take a Christmas Photo?
With that thought, I began charging the battery to my camera and started rearranging our living room.
“What are you doing?” Cassie asked.
“Continuing a tradition,” I replied.
This is for my family — my dad, my brother, and especially my mom. Although I won’t be seeing you this Christmas, you’re in my thoughts and my heart. Merry Christmas from Shaun and Cassie!
(It took us 40 tries to get a picture we both liked — the tradition lives on!)
Update 12-24-2007: After publishing this entry two days ago, I received a Christmas Photo from my parents in the mail. Apparently I was wrong — living away from home this year had no impact on our annual picture. My parents simply used a picture that was taken while I was visiting for a few days during the summer.
I think it brings this entry full circle:
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