Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

Thank you to all the readers of this column for another year of photo mysteries! I have a holiday card for you on my Vimeo channel. You can watch this photo become a colorized greeting. The photograph, titled "Caught in the Act", is from the Library of Congress. It was...

Thank you to all the readers of this column for another year of photo mysteries! I have a holiday card for you on my Vimeo channel. You can watch this photo become a colorized greeting.
The photograph, titled “Caught in the Act”, is from the Library of Congress. It was taken in 1900. Santa’s bag of presents hasn’t changed too much—he’s carrying dolls and a sailing ship. But I think he’s a pretty scary-looking Santa.

I have a holiday habit that drives my family crazy—I take photographs of our Christmas tree. It’s a picture time capsule. And I have proof that I’m not the only person who does it: The photo of this tree predates my lifetime.
Christmas 1954.jpg
December 1954 is written in unfamiliar handwriting underneath the image. I’ll be watching for that couch and those curtains in other family pictures. This color photo is in serious need of some color correction. All the reds have taken over the image. That’s a pretty typical problem with mid-1950s images.

Cynthia Cox sent me this image from her family collection. It’s also dated 1954.
Christmas Morning 1954.jpg
She labeled it, “Christmas morning at the Robert and Helen Cox Family Residence, Los Angeles.” It was taken on Dec. 25. The doll was her gift and the fire truck was for her brother. Thank you for your submission, Cindy!

We’ve been photographing holiday traditions for generations. Last December, I explored the tradition of posing with Santa.

You can use the comment section below to tell me what holiday traditions you photograph.

Happy Holidays!

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  1. I take a picture of the Christmas tree every year too! I wish my parents had done that while I was growing up. Luckily, they did it once in a while and the ones I have are precious to me. I also take a picture of all of the children in the family gathered together when we have our once-a-year family get-together! I have also taken photos of special ornaments and written a description on them for future generations.

  2. My mother had great fun getting photos of her only grandchild each Christmas, posing him with her and Dad in a different setting around the house each year. I usually was the photographer. Mom and Dad selected the picture they liked best, then it was taken to my favorite camera shop and made into a photo Christmas card to be sent out to all their friends. This ritual lasted for quite a number of years.

  3. Christmas family photo sessions have long been a tradition in my Dad’s family. My Aunt Rose was the family photographer and each Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm home she gathered us up and took each family’s photo. There were 11 brothers and sisters and 7 of them were married with children. While those photo sessions interrupted our precious play time with our cousins…they are truly a treasure now. As I look through them I see our family grow and grow and grow…and remember the love, laughter and fun we always had there safe in the arms of our family.

  4. Marlene Strayer Stiffler

    I recently took a picture with the red color problem your Christmas tree picture has to my local Rite Aid photo center to have copied. I don’t know what they did but the coloring is wonderful. The skin tones are even real. I’ll be taking others. And the price is right.

    My Grandson is living in the house where I grew up so finding pictures of me with the Christmas tree, train, and toys by the fireplace gave me gift ideas.