Our family photo cards for Christmastide were just mailed. We don’t send out many cards, so why do we continue this tradition?
My dad loves photography. Growing up I remember him taking dozens of photos for our annual Christmas cards. My sister, brother and I complained every year before, during and after these lengthy photo sessions. I remember the smell of his darkroom in the basement. There was a sense of mystery in moving beyond the dark curtain into the special area of unusual photographic smells.
Dad let me use his tongs to immerse the photo paper in the solution. Like magic an image gradually appeared. I remember feeling the resistance of the photos in the chemical bath as clearly as the scent of the vivid vapors. The new photographs, a bit curly around the edges, were then hung to dry.
Dad saved our Christmas cards every year and organized them in an album. Taking these pictures was clearly something he loved and wanted to share with others. It is a memory I will always carry with me, and that’s why we continue to send out Christmas cards. Although Dad had to give away his photography equipment years ago, I am grateful for his patience, deep passion and this gift of his love.