Wishing you a Blessed Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

Christmas is my favorite time of year.   Having Jesus come to earth to redeem mankind is paramount to my hope and my life.  

I LOVE being a photographer, a husband and a dad, but being a Christian is far more central to my life.

But even before I chose to follow Christ as a young adult stationed in Italy in the Air Force, I liked Christmas.  christmas sign

The music.  The food.  The lights.  The stories. The presents. The family getting together.  The hope it gives. xmas

Speaking of music, if you are looking for something a bit different, but still not way out of the loop.  My 2 favorite Christmas music CD's are Straight No Chaser (10 male harmony group)-listen to this great rendition of the 12 days of Christmas---it will never be the same

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fe11OlMiz8

and The Chieftains, Bells of Dublin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NntWFDQxoY4 

My family was so dedicated to Christmas, that no matter how far away we lived, we did our best to get HOME.

Maybe that is why I like taking family portraits during the Christmas season-because people are home and decor is festive.

christmastimelauriekrei

Sure we can all get caught up in the hussle and bussle and forget the real meaning of giving.  Its not about sales and spending money, but love.  christmaschild

A few years ago, we had the REAL Santa come to our studio (and one year, Edman Furniture) for families wanting unique Christmas cards.  Unfortunately, after the fourth year, we didn't have enough interest to continue, but I'm still left with some memorable portraits of families, Santa and especially children.

knox1santa5 santaclaus55

Rick Dancer (who is also a person of Christian faith) gives a 30 minute treatise of this season from helping those not as fortunate as ourselves, interviewing a wide array of people in the Eugene Oregon community including the thoughts of a Rabbi.   .As he says in the story, Christmas is supposed to be hope for the hopeless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEXHKcrsIMQ&feature=youtu.be

One of our family traditions is going out for Chinese food, making sugar Christmas cookies Christmas eve day (much to the chagrin of my wife who wants to eat more healthy), and frantically putting the finishing touches on stockings and decor after the kids have gone to bed, then opening presents and stockings on Christmas day, then having family come over in the early afternoon.

Growing up, it was pretty much the same way, except for the Chinese food part and of course being the kid, not doing the work.  Well, here I am helping Santa.  Note the candles of figures above my head and the holly (we had a holly farm in Pleasant Hill).  I still have my stocking and my mom made one for my wife and kids.

ChristmasBruceMy only regret?  I wish we lived in an area that had SNOW on the ground.  I guess that is why last winter WAS fun for me....Here is the back of our home/studio a week before Christmas. berghomes  My parents relocated to Sunriver (Oregon), a few years after my youngest brother graduated from high school (No one around to do all the work!), so for over 10 years, my wife and I, along with my brothers and,  grandmother (until she passed away) would travel over Willamette Pass.  It was somewhat magical, I must admit.  And I miss that trip and Christmas more now that my parents are gone. bergshouseOK...what about you?

What are some of your traditions that you cherish?  Just comment (and give me 10 hours to get it posted), I'd LOVE to hear what your experiences are!

Until then, here's wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season!xmas santa