Monday, November 22, 2010

Capture the magic {Holiday Challenge}

I was talking to my Dad the other day and he asked me what I was doing to prepare for the upcoming holidays. I thought about it for a minute, then shared a few tentative plans I have for our Thanksgiving meal, for a Christmas activity advent calendar I'm making for my kiddos, etc.

I wish I could remember exactly how it played out, but somehow we started talking about the feeling surrounding the holidays, and all the anticipation, the excitement, the joy you feel starting at Thanksgiving and continuing through the new year. And how some years the holidays lives up to those emotions, and some years they don't. He asked whether it was even possible to capture that feeling, and if so, how could we go about making sure that feeling is present throughout the holiday season. Somehow it turned into a project that we are both SO excited about that includes community events, home decor, holiday sweets, lots of twinkle lights, and of course, photography.

In the weeks to come I am excited to post my ideas about how I plan to create and capture the magic of the holiday season for my family. And maybe make a few new friends in the process here in NYC. I'll be looking to all of you to share great ideas and to share your lovely images from the holidays too. I'd love it if you would join in and capture the magic in your home, in your city.

PLEASE comment below and share with us one Thanksgiving tradition you love. This is my first year on my own, and I'd love to start some new traditions to go along with the old. Please share!

And if you have never made a comment, I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself and share your blog link (if you have one).


Anna said...

My favorite turkey tip--herb butter under the skin. My mom had done it so I did it with my first turkey--I was novice and the turkey turned out so juicy.

As far as traditions go--my mom was almost always far from her family on the holiday (her family is mostly in Michigan and we are in Utah) but my mom always invited friends who didn't have somewhere else to go. The mere fact of not having lots of family nearby made her more aware of others. So we often had non-family guests at our small family thanksgiving dinner (her single friends, my college roommates, whoever). It made the house more merry and gave an air of service to the holiday. It just seemed right to open our home to others and taught me so much about charity. Its not a craft tradition but I love it and if you are far from your families it seems like a good one to try.

Melissa said...

Hi there, My name is Melissa, and I'm your favorite roommate..ever! I'm so excited for this little project of yours; your family has been such an inspiration for me as far as family traditions go! (we're actually doing Santa gifts in a hose this year! I hope it is something that sticks!)

Sooo, I'm on my own this Thanksgiving too, and in the past we've done a "Thankful Jar". Someday it will turn into casually adding slips of our "thankfuls", but for now we're frantically writing them for kids and ourselves! I try to make food as simple as possible (Trader Joe's is my best friend!) But in my opinion, Thanksgiving dinner is all about the sides! So its hard to fully indulge in our current situation!

Alisha said...

Hey Lesley, Alisha from freshman year here! Adam and I are usually on our own for Thanksgiving, too. We make a ham, since we like it more than turkey. And we watch Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas after dinner. :) We usually do our decorations after dinner, too, since it's just the two of us so it's pretty quiet.

LOVE your photos! I can't wait to start taking Christmas pictures. We're going to Temple Square on Saturday and I'll start there!

My photo blog is and our family blog is if you want an invite!

Lindsay said...

Hello! I've been reading Erin's blog for a few years, but I only recently starting hopping over to yours. You are a fantastic photographer, by the way, which is what is keeping me coming back. Also, welcome to NYC! (I don't know what you charge, but now that you're in the city, I'm highly tempted to hire you to take our family portraits...)

This sounds awful, but other than feasting, we don't really have any Thanksgiving traditions to speak of. On second thought, I suppose that incorporating family -- some way, somehow -- is kind of a tradition. My family, immediate and extended, is spread out all over the country, but every year, whether it's in person, over Skype, or just a phone call, family has always been involved.

President's Mommy said...

A couple years ago we started a new tradition. On Thanksgiving night we give all the kids in the family their first Christmas gift of the year, they all get a set of Christmas jammies. We than play Christmas music and the Christmas season has officially begun. We all really enjoy it.

Have fun in New York! It must be so beautiful with all the Christmas decorations everywhere :)

Bombshell Char said...

I started to comment, but it got way too long. So I'm doing my own blog post, and you can see my holiday suggestions there!

Lorrie said...

I've been married for 30 years this coming May, and have never cooked a turkey or stuffing! Why? Because your fabulous Uncle Kirt cooks them for us! That's the best tradition--a division of labor--it keeps us together in the kitchen, and ensures that no one person will get overly tired! I'm sure I could do it if I ever needed to, but he's willing, and every year our turkey just gets better. I do the pies.

Melanie said...

What a great post. I agree- somehow some years are so much more magical than others. Why?

I don't have any strong Thanksgiving traditions but I do have one for Christmas that I love. My family always has a fmimly testimony meeting on Christmas eve and it usually involves a lot of tears and sets the mood for what Christmas is all about. Also, I always feel closest to my siblings in those moments.