It’s that time of year again. You know, the time when you wear color coordinating outfits, sport fresh haircuts, display shiny smiles, and hug each other for that family photo. The photo that goes on the cover of the holiday card that you mail to your friends and family.
Who is in your holiday photograph? Is it a photo of one or a frame for two? Is it the first photo with the new pink or blue bundle that makes you a family of three? Does it include grandparents, cousins, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and the family dogs and cats? Is it a group picture of your circle of friends?
You may hate this tradition. The matchy-matchy uncomfortable clothes. The inconvenience. The idea of creating a Norman Rockwell portrait of a happy family just isn’t your favorite way of spending an afternoon.
However, think about the people who would give anything to have a family, or even one person, to stand next to and pose for a holiday card. They probably dream of their fantasy family. They can visualize the smiles and feel the love they wish for oozing out of the picture. They dream of who they would love to have in their photograph.
Many of us have lost a loved one we wish were still here to be in the photograph. Some of us have fractured families. Families separated by geography, illness, division, divorce, or death. If it hasn’t happened yet, there will come a time when the family photo changes. There will come a time when grandparents are gone, children move away, and change happens. When this takes place, the photographs of past years become precious possessions. A snapshot of a time that will never happen again. A moment that becomes a memorialized memory.
Right now, if you are lucky enough to have a spouse or family that is planning a family photo shoot and they want YOU in it, stop begrudging it. If no one is planning it, jump in and be the planner for your family or your group of friends. Orchestrate the occasion. Get that haircut. Wear matching colors or crazy sweaters. Stand in front of the holiday tree, cozy up on a couch, or kick up some dirt in an empty field. Cross your fingers that the babies don’t cry, and the dog sits still. Smile the biggest smile you can conjure. Make fun poses. Crazy poses. Be happy. Be joyful. Be proud. Create a memory.
Understand how lucky you are to have someone standing alongside you in a photograph and in life. Understand how lucky you are that someone wants YOU in their holiday photo. Be grateful.
And when next year comes around, do it again.
Pennie’s Life Lesson: “Don’t miss an opportunity to stand with those you love.
Take the photo!”
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