Monday, December 5, 2016

Thanks for the Memories

Does the holiday season put your memory files into overdrive? It does for me. As I’ve thought about today’s post, I kept coming back to memories. One in particular kept flooding my memory drive: the annual ritual that my cousin and I observed of going to visit Santa. I just knew that somewhere – somewhere – I had one of those photos.

It took less than five minutes to find it and I was so happy when I did. You see, my cousin was my best friend for the first 18 years of my life, and never more so than when we were young and almost inseparable. My guess is that this is probably the Macy’s Santa Claus as we lived in New York then. Macy’s had the best Santas!

What a treasure this photo is! And that brings me to the point of today’s post: we, you and I, we are the memory keepers in our families. We hold the power, a.k.a., the cameras in our hands.

Unfortunately, not all my memories have physical photos, they reside only in my heart and mind. One such memory is firmly etched in my heart and my mind. When my daughter was two years old, she was, as all two year olds are, in overdrive about Christmas.

On Christmas morning, we heard her tiptoe down the hallway from the bedrooms to the living room and then coming running back, saying at the top of her lungs, “He came! He really came!!” Oh! What I would give for a picture of that chubby little girl in her one piece sleeper, curls flying every which way, running to get us out of bed to share her joy. (And, yes, I'm pretty sure all that loot under the tree was for our daughter!)

This memory puts me on a fast track backwards to when I found out the truth about Santa. Do you remember how you found out? My granddaughter is nine and won’t reveal whether she “Believes” or not. But the fact that she chose a family outing to see the new Star Wars movie rather than our traditional visit to the Kentucky Horse Park to see the Southern Lights and Santa is a pretty good tip off.

But I digress. When I was seven years old, we lived in a two story home. I distinctly remember that Christmas Eve. I’d been hustled off to bed early so Santa would be able to come to our house. Like most seven year olds on Christmas Eve,  I couldn’t sleep. I was sure I heard Santa’s sleigh bells on our roof. So, what did I do? What any curious seven your old would do. I crept down the stairs – only to find my mother putting the toys under the Christmas tree. Yes. True story.

So where does all this reminiscing take us today? To the point I made earlier: we are the memory keepers. We have a sacred duty to click the shutters often this holiday season. You just never know when a seemingly mundane photo will trigger the most precious of memories.

Memory is such a fragile thing. Let’s do our part to keep memories alive with our photography. And with our stories! We’d love to have you share a memory or two in our comments today or with a photo in the Flickrstream or IG feed.

Happy Holidays!


heyjudephotography said...

So adorable Dotti. Do you remember what you were asking Santa for that year!? A very vivid memory I have of Christmas is my brothers and sisters and me (5 of us) taking turns getting on our hands and knees and peering down through the floor vent that opened into the living room where we could see some of our gifts. I'm sure we looked quite comical. We had to wait for our dad to say Ho Ho Ho before we could come rushing down the stairs. I will definitely be keeper and taker of the memories this season, and I'm actually going to try to be IN some of those pictures!

kelly said...

You are so right Dotti. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I am so grateful for all of the memories I have captured...they bring me so much. It's what keeps me motivated and inspired this time of year. xoxo

terriporter said...

Oh, the pictures! Such treasures! I am so glad I have always been a picture taker. All the memories I've captured are so precious to me and would be just a dim memory by now without the physical evidence of photos. I remember one of the first Christmases in our house, my older boys were about six and four and
Santa brought them each a Transformers character that turned into a laser gun that made noise. In the middle of the night, over the intercom I heard the laser sounds and found them both in the same bedroom, one on the top bunk and one on the bottom, shooting at each other! No photo, but a vivid memory anyway. But I so agree with what you said about us being the memory keepers and I take that roll very seriously!

Cathy H. said...

I've already lost a lot of my childhood memories and what is so sad is that there wasn't money for film and developing, so I have no pictures either. I do remember the Christmas when I received my first Barbie Doll, actually she was my only Barbie. Along with Barbie and a carrying case came a long narrow box. I remember being in awe when I opened the box and it was full of beautiful dresses my mom had made for my Barbie, even a beautiful wedding dress. I still have a few of those! We can't be reminded too many times that it is important to take picture and write down our thoughts and feelings They very quickly fade away!

Sandra said...

Beautiful memories.

AFishGirl said...

Okay, so listen, I started reading this post and it didn't say WHO it was by and I just got to the first photo and thought that is C there with Santa!!!! The spitting image of her. It literally took my breath away. Wow. Fascinating!

kybarb said...

I love looking back at old Christmas photos and wish I could figure out a way to get a few still photos from old videos/DVDs (my dad originally took home movies that he later had copied to VHS tapes and I have since had copied to DVD). Anyone know how to do it?

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