Now what can a nice, Orthodox, Jewish girl like myself possibly have to share about scrapbooking on Christmas day? I don't really have Christmas layouts of my own to share with you, true. But, I do have some experience scrapbooking holiday memories without photos of the actual day. See, according to the Orthodox tradition, on many important Jewish holidays, like during the Passover Seder, and Rosh Hashana, taking pictures is not allowed. For years, while I scrapbooked bike rides, and first days of school, and general cuteness, this important part of our family heritage went undocumented. I needed to find another way to tell this story. Now, there are also lots of holidays where I can take pictures, like Chanukah and Thanksgiving. But I sometimes run into another problem. I am not a great multitasker. So, when family and friends and general celebration is afoot, I sometimes forget to take pictures. Or, when I do take them, the lighting and composition are not always great, and, well, not everyone is always looking their best.
So, if you are busy today enjoying your family and your holiday, and you don't get behind the camera, I say, tell your story anyway.
Use Your Words
I use this phrase a lot as a preschool teacher, and it is equally helpful for us here, as well. I don't have any photos of our Seders in progress, but I do have a photo of the table set before the holiday began, and I have my words to describe what this table and this room look like just a few hours later. And part of the story is that it looks the same every year.
I used similar approach for the holiday of Shavuot. More flowers for the photo (because flowers are always pretty), and words to tell the story of what made that particular holiday special. No fancy story telling. Just a list of some of the things that happened.
Capture the Preparations
There is a lot of tradition surrounding a holiday that happens before the holiday itself begins. Like every year, before Passover, we bring out a box of all the Passover projects that my kids have made at school over the years. And, every year, they love to look back at their old work.
In my home, though, and perhaps yours too, capturing all the REAL preparations, requires one more step.
Embrace the Underwear
I'm sorry, did she just say "embrace the underwear?"
Yes. I did. Because here is something else about my family. As these beautiful, touching, holiday memories unfold, not everyone is fully dressed in their holiday best. What can I say? We are not a formal bunch. In years past, I might have rejected some of these photos as "unscrapworthy," but I find the story they tell, and the relationships they document, too complelling to let them go any longer.
Did I mention we are not a formal bunch?
And if you can embrace the underwear, you can certainly embrace some poor lighting and composition, too. Jenny said that living in Minnesota in a small house with few windows, lighting and composition are always a challenge. So she prints her photos small to make up for it.
So, if you miss some photo ops today, you can still tell your stories of the day. And if your home and your family, like mine, do not always look like a page out of Martha Stewart Living, embrace them and their imperfections because they are yours and they are real.
I do have one Christmas layout that I can leave you with today, because we do have one Christmas day tradition. Every year, we turn the channel to TBS and watch A Christmas Story.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!