Holiday Prep Plans For Christmas–Week 5

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Are you counting the days until Christmas?  Or just trying to get through Halloween before you even begin to think about Christmas?  If you are following along with the blog, we are on our 5th week of preparing for Christmas.  This week, you should begin to think about your family Christmas photo.  What is a Christmas photo?

Every year, our neighbor takes a picture of our entire family.  The picture will be sent out along with our Christmas cards so that our relatives, who all live out of state, can see how the children are growing! It appears that the tradition of sending out yearly photos is quite common as we receive many family photos around Christmas time each year.  All of the photos are tacked on our refrigerator door so we view the pictures of our family and friends often during the day.  I know family photos, just like families themselves come in all styles, shapes and sizes. Some family pictures are incredibly creative; others are more conservative.  Some families dress up for the photo, some wear their street clothes, and some others dress up all the photo participants in similar outfits.  Some families use the photos as their Christmas card and others enclose a photo within a card.

Whether you are planning a simple picture, or trying to come up with a creative idea for your picture, it’s best to start planning now.  If you would like a formal studio picture taken of your family, definitely call now to schedule your appointment.  I remember the first year we decided to have a studio portrait taken and I casually walked into the studio mid-November to schedule a session.  I was shocked to find that they were completely booked until the week before Christmas.  If I scheduled an appointment then, the studio told me that there was no guarantee that I would get the photos back by Christmas either.  That year, we created New Year’s cards and sent them out instead!

I did learn my lesson though.  If I decide that I’d like a formal picture, I usually call now to schedule an appointment for mid-November at the latest.  That way, I can get the pictures taken and I will get them back before the Christmas rush season begins. 

If you choose to get a studio portrait and you have young children, always choose a studio where you can make an appointment.  I know, it sounds so convenient to just be able to “walk in” and get your young children’s photos taken.  Rarely has this ever worked for me.  Either I ended up waiting for an hour after I “walked in” or I just could never find the “perfect” time to go to the studio.  If you have an appointment, that is it–you have to go and it doesn’t matter who is in a bad mood that day–it has to happen. 

After a few years of studio portraits, we progressed to the “smiling family on the couch” photo.  I’d dress the kids up and sit them on the couch and take a picture.  We did this for many years until we moved out of state about 3 years ago when I got remarried.

Since all of our family lives out of state now, we’ve started a tradition of taking our holiday picture at a different landmark in Virginia.  One year, we had our picture taken while we were standing in a field of cotton.  My family, who lives in the northern part of the United States had never seen cotton growing and they were surprised!  The next year, we took our picture in front of a fence in historic Williamsburg.  Last year, we had our picture taken on the boardwalk at Virginia Beach. 

This year, we have yet to decide where we are going to have the picture taken.  A strong possibility is that we will go to Fort Monroe which is a historic military fort soon to be decommissioned.  After it is decommissioned, it faces an uncertain future.  Now that will certainly be an original Christmas photo, won’t it?

After our photo is taken, I can go online and create the picture into a photo postcard or Christmas card.  Many drugstores in the United States actually offer this service as do some camera companies.  It seems that there are so many options for the perfect card-and there are!  Start to plan your Christmas photo now in order to avoid the rush and stress of last minute photo sessions. 

If you’d like to share your creative card and photo ideas and tips here–please do so!

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