At my parent’s house, one of my favorite Christmas traditions is to view photo albums from years past. After Christmas Eve services, we enjoy Honey Baked Ham on Potato Rolls, veggies and dip, tortilla chips with Con Queso Dip and an assortment of sweet treats. Afterward, I immediately pull stacks of photo albums from the closet and we head to the sofa.
The Christmas tree lights twinkle as Bing Crosby sings in the background and we settle in to take a journey into our past. Many pictures bring a smile as I’m instantly taken back to that moment in time. We laugh at funny hairstyles and clothes that have come in and out of style. When I see the photo of my me and my sister in front of the Christmas Tree wearing our Knickers (for my English readers, Knickers aren’t under garments in the States) and white boots, I’m reminded of that third grader who threw herself on the floor in tears because she didn’t want to wear Knickers to school. Nevertheless, my mother won that battle, as she did most.
Pictures have always served as a window to my past. Relatives who are no longer with us bring a tear to my eye, but then a funny photo brings tears of laughter. These albums tell a story that I’m afraid may come to an end. In our family, pictures taken with digital cameras or phones often remain on the device. Sometimes they are e-mailed, but honestly, I can’t remember the last time anyone in my family, myself included, actually developed a photo.
The instant gratification of seeing the photo immediately has replaced the excitement when I picked up a roll of film developed at the drug store and then tore into the package when I got in the car. Once home, I would take time to write the date and name of person or place on the back of the photo before I carefully placed it into an album. For me, hovered around a computer or a handheld device looking at photos on Christmas Eve, when you can nuzzle on the sofa with loved ones and an album full of memories, is just not the same.