Rediscover the Magic of the Holiday Season

Toddler smiling in awe at Christmas Tree decorations by Rochester NY Photographer Gabriella Hunt Photographer

There are so many things that make the holiday season magical, but sometimes the joy gets buried in shopping for the right presents, mile-long to-do lists, and crazy packed schedules. 

How can we find joy during the holidays through all the chaos? How can I be present in the moment and be happy when I am being pulled in so many different directions?

As the holiday season approaches, I am challenging myself to embrace more of the goodness, instead of the chaos. The best way I can think to bring the joy back into the holiday season is to experience it through the eyes of my children. 

I immediately think of that sparkle in my kids’ eyes when they wake up on Christmas morning. I hear their tiny feet barreling down the stairs to see what Santa left them waiting under the tree. I smell cinnamon rolls in the oven and a fresh pot of coffee for us bleary-eyed parents when we wake up before the sun, because no matter how late they go to bed the night before, little ones never sleep in on Christmas morning. I feel my heart swell with the joy of the season. 

The unblemished wonder of seeing the holidays through the eyes of my kids gives me the warmth of nostalgia.

I remember when I was young, spending each Christmas Eve gathering in the kitchen with my family to make every kind of cookie imaginable. We would stay up until 2 in the morning making sure everything was set for our family gathering on Christmas Day. 

Every year, my mother made all of her pie crusts from scratch and memory, but one Christmas she failed four times to have it come out right. It was beyond late and finally we all realized that she had been using powdered sugar instead of flour for the recipe. I distinctly remember us all laughing until we cried and our stomachs hurt in the best way. 

Those moments were filled with joy and while I will always have those memories, I wish so badly that I had some of them documented. To be able to show images of these memories to my kids as we work to create our own.  These little pieces of tradition add up to a whole lifetime of fond memories. It captures the parts that make up who we are as families. So why aren’t these the moments we work to capture in photographs, so they can be preserved permanently and remembered forever?

Often times we aim for the family photos with matching pjs or formal wear and wait in long lines at the local mall to sit on Santa’s lap for less than a few minutes. The magic gets lost in the aim for perfection and we forget the true magic comes from the memories tied to the moments we create. A photo should capture the essence of who we are and our traditions are part of that. 

When we stop and see Christmas through the eyes of our kids, we can be reminded of what really matters and find some magic in that. This year I am offering two photo sessions to help you create and remember the magic of the holidays.

The first session is a Family Holiday Tradition Photo Session that focuses on your family’s holiday traditions, documentary style. The idea is to preserve your cherished traditions and capture your family doing what they do best: being themselves and making memories.

The second session involves a holly jolly guy named Santa. 

My Santa Experience Photo Sessions invites Santa into your home for an hour to enjoy some of your favorite holiday traditions with Old Saint Nick. Your kids will be talking about it forever. I know mine are still over the moon from last Christmas! 

This holiday season I invite us all to find joy in the moments that may seem chaotic. Take the time to recognize how our kids see that something special in all of it. Pause and reflect on the wonderful and valuable time together. Capture the beautiful memories in all of the glitter, joy, and spirit this season and know you’re playing a role in creating magic that will stay with your kids forever.


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