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The other day I asked my brother, who is a teacher, if he was excited for the holidays and the end of the semester. His answer surprised me. He said, “I think I have the holiday blues...”
The truth of the matter is that there are so many people, who go through this feeling, especially the closer we get to Thanksgiving and Christmas. With these major holidays, there comes an abundance of stress. The stressful outings with children, outings to pick up all the food for your holiday feast, and the crowds that seem to form no matter the time of day. Also, all the shopping! This one wants this and that... everyone has a list. God forbid you don't go stand in that line at Build-a-Bear for a limited addition special bear that is only out for a few weeks. Or the smartwatch your spouse wanted that is way too expensive. Or my personal favorite the toy that's been on back order since August that your 10 year old just has to have, or he will die!
Now we have yet to even tackle all the "get togethers" that are going to happen. If you come from a split home then you are probably running all over the place to get to everyone's house so you can share in the delight of arguing with your step mom, or being busy loathing your dad for marrying her. Better yet you’re not even sure how you feel about their child, who is your brother but is younger by 20 something years!!!
Have I hit a nerve yet? If you can’t relate to any of this you just might have the perfect life... well maybe not, because in all this there is always a silver lining. I am going to tell you all a little secret that will help. Take a deep breath close your eyes and just breath. And be Thankful! That's it! There are so many people, who have no family to argue with let alone celebrate with. There are children all over the country that will not get a gift from anyone. Make sure to include your kids in the "gift giving" and have them pick out a gift for someone in need. Go to Walmart and select a family off the giving tree who needs help. Make sure you kids are there every step of the way so they can see how much this means to someone else.
One of my personal favorites traditions is, when my kids come to me with their mile-long lists, I make them donate something of theirs for every item on the list. If they want new shoes, then they must donate an older pair. Want a new coat? Donate an old one. This really put things into perspective.
If you don't have kids (like my brother) and have the holiday blues, then volunteer! There are always school, shelters, organizations, churches, and all kinds of other places that need the help this time of year. What a wonderful way to help shutter away those holiday blues.
Now you may be asking yourself what this has to do with photography, since I am a photographer after all. I am about to get into it. Bringing this around full circle, I ask that you make sure you are taking photos. Even if they are on your camera phone. Even though these times can be so stressful, and you may not like everyone you have to be around for the holidays, still just take that photo. Some day that person may not be around, and even though you don't want to think of them now you may regret not snapping that pic later.
Your baby's will soon grow up to be adults and their cute pig tails will turn into a corporate bob. The freckles on their nose will be gone replaced by bags under their eyes from staying up too late studying for that final exam. The cancer that was in remission, might come back. Take as many photos of EVERYTHING as you can because these moments may ultimately become treasures!