holiday joy traditionally speaking


I am neither completely traditional nor tradition-oriented.  We didn’t have too many family traditions when I was growing up.  We had consistency though: unbelievable food, lots of loud Italians to talk about the food and more pasta.

But, I recently signed up for an online photography class with my neighbor, Kelly Willette, called Finding the Holiday Joy.  If you live in the Norfolk area, drive down my street and you’ll find her house.  You’ll know it when you see it; the Willettes love them some Christmas tradition.

Anyway, back to the class.  It’s all about documenting your holiday traditions on film or SD card, as the case may be.  But, being tradition-phobic, I was completely daunted by the first two lessons: advent calendars and finding the right tree.   To keep my yearly holiday cheer intact, my husband and I decided about seven years ago to buy an everlasting tree {read: fake}.  So, that tradition’s a bust; I always find the tree in the basement.  I did try to take a photo of my husband struggling to pull the beast from that dank netherworld, but needless to say, he wouldn’t strike a pose {or at least one that I would want on film; his hand gestures were not so traditional.}

And, I don’t have an advent calendar!  Yikes.  I immediately surfed to etsy.com for help, but nothing would arrive in time and I really felt that I was forcing the tradition more than feeling it.  “Have I tradition-starved my children?” I thought.  Well, not really.  We do our things, our way.  Like, nothing BEATZA Christmas Eve PIZZA!  {photos to follow after the holiday.}  But, for the sake of my online class, I recorded a few things here that are Christmassy and fun for us.

And please don’t think that I am knocking others’ traditions; I think they are great.  We have friends that eat Christmas Day burritos {and they don’t have a Latin bone in their body…} and some that hide a pickle in their tree {I think that’s German.}  Comment below if you have a favorite tradition.

By the way, my older son did ask the other day for “one of those calendars that counts down until Christmas Eve.”

Enjoy.  SPL

homemade snow globes and chugga, chugga… christmas express

finding the right tree?

shopping and bad mall food.  I’ll tell you another time why I avoid the mall.

bad sweaters, this one was my “fave!” {please note the sarcastic quotes}

better sweaters

holiday dragon lights, of course

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About Ginger Hansen Photography

wife mom graphic designer photographer french professor
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3 Responses to holiday joy traditionally speaking

  1. Jenna says:

    I am visiting from Kelly’s link…wondering if you would share how you captured the picture of your kids looking at the tree. Thanks!

  2. I really liked that one.
    I pulled that one off like a normal silhouette photo, but in low light. The tree was my backlight, but I also had the overhead lights on in the room. It was night time so I didn’t have any light coming in from the windows. (And, of course, no flash.) The only issue was that I had to keep the shutter open for a long time to let in enough of the tree light. I had the kids hold really still (1/3 sec shutter speed). That was an eternity for a 4 and 7 year old. I also had the ISO set at 1000 and an f-stop of 4.0.
    More on silhouettes (in case you were wondering): http://www.iheartfaces.com/2010/11/silhouette-tutorial-by-susan-keller/

  3. Jenna says:

    Thanks you so much for the explanation and the link!

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