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julie portrait3BW[From Julie] The day has arrived.  We are rolling out the submissions for our spectacular first Christmas Photo Contest.  This should help get you into the Christmas spirit just in case you aren’t quite ready for the day to finally be here.  You should also get out there and finish (or start) your shopping.  We’ll pray for you.  Some of these photos come with stories so make sure to read them.  When you see your own picture posted feel free to self promote in the comments as we will be using comments to help us pick which photo will win the super terrific prize of a $50 gift card to The Lake House (or a restaurant in your area).  So lets kick it off with a photo that is special to Noel.  If you feel motivated to send in a late entry during this week than send it to us here.

noel portrait1BW[From Noel]  Some of you will remember that long ago cameras didn’t have screens on the back. To take pictures you had to buy film ($3) and then later take the exposed film in to be developed, which took upwards of a week ($10) and then you would see if you got everyone in the frame, if people were looking etc.  Before digital cameras, people were selective about their picture taking.  In 1991 I was falling in love with photography (we’re still friends now, but we don’t get to see each other very much).  I brought my camera to the Walker Christmas gathering on Boxing Day.  We gathered like that every year since I was a kid.  I took the family shot you see below.  Everyone in my extended family was there that year except for my cousins Pam and Roger (seen in the picture frame).  I took a few other pointless pictures that day just for fun.

Walker Family1

Walker Family2

Walker Family3In the first one my brother Matthew seems intrigued.  It looks like Grandma is passing around a box of chocolates and my Aunt Sandy got a nasty one.  The other picture is Grampa using the absersizer that somebody gave him as a gift. These pictures are dear to me because because we never gathered like this again.  Grampa died suddenly four months later and we’ve never had a Walker gathering quite like it since.

I don’t mean this to be a downer but this week I got thinking that when photos cost 50 cents each I was too stingy with them; Now digital pictures are free I should be taking hundreds! My challenge to you this Christmas is to take 100 absolutely wasteful pictures.  (call it the 100 picture challenge!) You will never regret it. This thought occurred to me when my sister-in-law sent her submission a couple of weeks ago:

Christmas 07 010[From Tracey] The first pic is Seth with his Santa hat and two Christmas stockings on from three years ago. It always makes me smile. What a goofball!  The second one is the “Year of the Pajamas,” so Robert and I are showing off ours. There aren’t too many pics of Robert and I together as we are usually the ones behind the camera so this is the only one I could find of us. I must rectify that this year.
Christmas 2006 016

Another seemingly failed family picture (sorry Tracey) came from one of our guest writers Wilma. She writes:

[From Wilma] After not having our entire family together for about 10 years, this mother was determined to get a picture of the group. Trying to find the perfect time was very difficult. One grandson arrived, having just developed a case of stomach flu, shortly after, others began having symptoms. Because some would be leaving the next day we HAD to get that photo. So here we are, one baby crying, others in the photo looking to see what the problem is and trying to appease the crying child, one in the photo had bells palsy, thankfully his face is turned away, one son in law is so sick he can hardly manage a smile. But here we are the entire Smith family for Christmas 2008.
Christmas 2008 192