As we arrive at one of the busiest times of the year, I wanted to share a few photos that I believe you will be forever happy you took. Here are my top five things to capture this holiday season:
1. Sweets and Treats
As a girl from the great state of Ohio, it is a tradition in our family to make candy buckeyes for the holidays. We will usually bake cookies and assemble a gingerbread house. Capturing your little ones helping in the kitchen is a great way to freeze a sweet moment. Little hands using cookie cutters, cheeks doused with flour and tiny tongues licking beaters are all super cute moments that will make your kids smile when they look back.
2. Reading Christmas Stories
Consider having grandparents read T'was the Night Before Christmas or other holiday favorites to your children. I remember being at my grandparents house for our annual Christmas parties. One of my favorite memories is my grandpa reading to us from the Bible about the birth of Jesus and sharing with us the importance of our faith. My grandfather passed in 2013 and it remains a very special memory for me to this day.
3. Crafts and Cards
Christmas is a great time to capture little fingers writing out long lists of toys by hopeful girls and boys. You may not think of it at the time, but you will love looking back and seeing their tiny hands in the act of drawing crooked Christmas trees and stick figure reindeer. Make sure to grab a photo of your kiddos writing out those lists to Santa. A few other traditions you could capture are writing out Christmas cards at the kitchen table or other activities like making paper snowflakes.
4. Decorating the Tree
If you buy a freshly cut tree each year, don't forget to capture the little ones as they walk around in the maze of Christmas pine. I may be guilty of being a little particular when it comes to decorating my tree. Over the years, I learned that I enjoy decorating the tree much more when my kids put their own touch to it. It takes a little of the work out, which is nice because all the light stringing is enough to make you want to add a little extra brandy to your eggnog. I found myself really soaking up the way my kids added the ornaments. Once, my youngest put every single bulb on the same branch at the bottom of the tree. My OCD was kicking in, but it was the most precociously decorated tree I had ever seen.
As a mom, I have noticed that I often get so caught up in taking photos of everything and everyone else that I tend to have many less photos of myself. I have definitely dodged photos due to being self conscious, but I noticed that I don't look at my own childhood photos and think, "wow...my mom sure looked like a hot mess", I just think about the love and togetherness that I felt. Your kids will want to remember that, too. Just because you take a photo doesn't mean it has to go on Facebook, so be sure you are capturing moments that include you for your own memories. Now, set the self-timer on your camera, throw on some flashing reindeer antlers and jump in there, mama!