Life Stories: The Story of Getting Our Christmas Tree | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer

Traditions build memories.  Every year, when you do the same thing, it helps strengthen a memory.  I don’t remember lots of details from my childhood.  I don’t remember what I got for Christmas when I was six.  I don’t remember which ornaments I hung where or if my presents were wrapped in red or blue or white. But what I do remember from my childhood is we did things together as a family.  We went to Christmas tree farms and cut down trees.   We had hot apple cider with oranges and cinnamon sticks floating in it.  We crawled through a Christmas tunnel every year… a tunnel that brought us to our Christmas tree with presents underneath.

I remember these things because they were our traditions.  We did it every year.  That repetition makes memories stick.

I want sticky memories for my own children.  So, every Christmas, we go and cut down a tree. We go out to lunch, get treats, and we cut down that tree.

This year, we changed things up by going to a different place.  We found ourselves in Half Moon Bay at our favorite restaurant, The Flying Fish Grill.

My goal was to be as unobtrusive with the camera as I could, which is kinda sorta hard to do when you are taking pictures in a restaurant with your big ol’ camera.  But I tried.  Minimal direction from me…. just watching my family interact.

My goodness, look at my son’s and husband’s lips.  They look so much alike.

I love watching my husband play with our kids.  He does so many things just to make them laugh.  Here, they were adding all sorts of weird stuff to his water and then he would drink it.  As you can plainly see, Daddy is hilarious.

My loves….

Daddy love is awesome love.

And then off for treats.  Seriously.  This cookie was enormous.  And my daughter is part monkey.  She is always climbing.

And finally… to the Christmas tree farm.

It wasn’t long before we realized, these trees were seriously UGLY.

Look at this one.  It was missing a whole section in the middle of the tree.

My daughter was less than thrilled about the choices of trees.

My son didn’t seem to mind.

The dude is slightly insane.  And no, I didn’t ask him to pose.  He does this all by himself.  haha.

He’s so cute.

But c’mon…  Look in the background at the choices.  I’m telling you.  Pickings were SLIM. Good thing my cute daughter added some beauty to the place.

As the search went on…and on… crazy started to set in.

And daddy made an executive decision.

“We’re getting this tree.”

I was too tired to argue.

My boy hurt his knee but quickly recovered so he could watch his daddy cut down that tree.

But how would we get that tree onto the car?

Daddy lifted the tree.

By himself.

Cuz he’s wicked strong.

See?  Look how strong he is.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!  Sorry.  This was taken earlier in the year, but I just wanted to show him off.

OK, back to the regularly scheduled program….

My son

My daughter

My family

I’m a lucky girl to get to build these traditions with this bunch.

And if you don’t know what this whole Life Stories is about, you’re about to be in for a treat.  Click on this link right HERE to see another amazing photographer, Claire Hunter.  She’s participating in this big ol’ circle of Life Stories.  You can see her amazing pictures, and she’ll link you to another amazing photographer.  If you keep on going through the circle, you’ll find your way right back here.  I’m doing this all year.  If you missed my last Life Story, you can see it right here and here.  And you can follow my work on Facebook.  Thanks for looking!

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  1. Kate Craft
    December 30, 2011

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the tradition you captured here ….such a fun day!

  2. beth
    December 30, 2011

    Insane the amount of gifting you have in photography. Just insane.

  3. Amber
    December 30, 2011

    *sigh* I love your stories. Memories like this are so priceless. This was a beautiful December story <3

  4. amy lenhart
    December 30, 2011

    this post made me laugh more then once.. love how you snuck in the shot of you hottie husband. and sigh the photography is just well… amazing!

  5. Jessica Deane
    December 30, 2011

    I love these! I’m a HUGE fan of traditions!!

  6. Taryn Chrapkowski
    December 30, 2011

    I was a little sidetracked by the image of your hubby…. Oh yes, what I was going to say… Love the vibrancy and fun of your images! What an amazing tradition to carry on with your children!

  7. Danielle Frank
    December 30, 2011

    I love the story you’ve told here – what incredible memories for you family to have documented. I love how you present things in such a creative way <3 And I don't know what happened, but all of the sudden your adorable kiddos look so grown up – they're beautiful!

  8. Rachel Aberle
    December 30, 2011

    What a great tradition! Thank you for sharing your beautiful family.

  9. Kristin
    December 30, 2011

    I love your story Laura, no surprise! Beautiful images and wonderful traditions to pass along to your kids!

  10. Heather
    December 30, 2011

    We have the same tradition of cutting down a tree. So much fun.

  11. Verity
    December 30, 2011

    soooo sweet, and so much fun – I love how vibrant your images are!

  12. Irene
    December 31, 2011

    I just LOVE this post!!! But you seriously bummed me out. We have had the tree cutting tradition for 12 years now and have no plans to EVER stop. I agree with you and memories!!!!! However, I didn’t take nearly as many photos as you did. And that just makes me sick. I want to be in the moment, but then I really regret not capturing the moments!!!!

    Another question – I love the life story idea!! How did you get involved in that group. I would just love to be part of something like this.

  13. Claire Hunter
    January 01, 2012

    I love traditions. Thanks for sharing yours!

  14. Audrey
    January 02, 2012

    You are so right about sticky memories! You captured these so wonderfully. I want to start taking our kids to pick out a tree just because of you now!

  15. Liat Biderovsky
    January 02, 2012

    Oh these are so amazing Laura!!! What an incredibly tradition and I love that you captured every moment of it. You’re going to look back one day and cherish these so much!!!! And might I just say your hubby looks HAWT!

  16. Miriam
    January 02, 2012

    Love how you blog! Makes me feel like I was right there with you! Sadly though I wasn’t really and I miss you! But at least I can enjoy all the gorgeous pics!

  17. joy
    January 02, 2012

    I love this! Made me laugh and cry and show my husband. He was impressed too. You are so talented Laura and you have a beautiful family!

  18. Heather E
    January 03, 2012

    Laura, Truly, you have such a unique eye. I enjoy looking at your images more than any other photographer. You really have a very, very special gift.

  19. Kara Layfield
    January 03, 2012

    How fun! Love your storytelling…you crack me up! Gorgeous family!!

  20. Nancy W
    January 07, 2012

    Totally mclove these Laura!! You did a wonderful job capturing your tradition. Just wonderful!

  21. Jen Gasper
    January 12, 2012

    I love how you tell stories, both with images and words. I especially loved your little tangent to show the image of your hot husband! Hahahahahahahahaha. I laughed because I think your are funny and then I just had to make sure that I was reading the right blog post since the picture was so different that I had to go back and look again! LOL. Awesome memories. Will be so cool for your kids to look back on and remember!

  22. Sylvia Borgo
    January 18, 2012

    You are one of my faves, Laura! Gah! I just teared up! I love traditions so much and I have to, have to, have to take more pictures of my family. You inspire me!

  23. Sis
    August 13, 2013

    I like your site.
    A lot.

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