Many of my grown nieces and nephews send out Christmas postcards with beautiful photos of their children on them, taken in photo studios.
The professional photos always allow a fond memory to surface from 1957, when my mom and dad gathered us in the living room and took the photo themselves.
Bad light (notice the flash in the mirror), crazy looking baby brother, weird outfits (I'm all dressed up but my sister's pretty casual). I also love the things on the mantle, the plant vase, the statue of Mary.
No matter whether professional or amateur, these Christmas photos are valuable artifacts. They freeze families in time. Once there were just six of us kids. Now our extended (and fertile) family numbers more than 50!
But once upon a time, there were just the eight of us -- six kids, two parents -- and a camera session the week before Christmas.