From our Photofocus family to yours, we wish you a very, merry Christmas. We hope you will spend time to truly take in the holiday season with your loved ones.

This year, we thought it’d be fun to look back, and share some of our favorite holiday memories. Here are a few from our team of writers. Don’t forget to share your holiday captures with us, by using the hashtag #photofocuschristmas on social media!

Lauri Novak

As we get older and don’t have all of our family around as years go on, it’s great to have so many old photographs of Christmases past. My mom almost always had a camera so, besides my own boxes of photos and shelves of photo albums, I now have a few bins and many more albums of her photos starting from her younger days.

It’s fun to go back and look at these old family photos. I remember our next-door neighbors always came over on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought and enjoy a nice big breakfast. Then we’d play with any games or toys we received.

Mom also dressed us up for New Year’s Eve/Day so there are a few years of these photos as well.

Bryan Esler

Throughout my childhood, my parents always went to that extra measure to make sure that Christmas morning was perfect for me and my sister. So much so that my dad had to capture the tree and gifts in all their glory with his camcorder before we even entered the room. I remember sitting on the steps going upstairs with my sister, drinking Hot Chocolate, before we were allowed to come upstairs.

As a kid I thought it was the most annoying thing ever, and it seemed to take forever. There were a few times I’d run out of Hot Chocolate waiting. I just wanted to see the gifts Santa brought!

But now, as an adult who’s a photographer, I can certainly appreciate the desire to capture the scene and its memories. Dad has shifted the duties of capturing Christmas morning over to me. And let’s just say I’ve sped up the process a bit.

Julie Powell

I was looking through some old family Christmas photos and memories of Christmas pasts came flooding back. 1999 was the GAME BOY Christmas. Remember Game Boys? It was 20 years ago and I can still remember the squeals — and I do MEAN squeals — when our girls opened their presents that year, a Game Boy each. They didn’t have to share and could play whatever game they wanted, and WHERE ever they wanted.

For another year, we were legends. Best parents on the block, they treated those Game Boys like a treasure, never fought over, nor dropped, always cared for. I had very happy children in my house that year, who were VERY quiet on the trip to Grandma’s, AT Grandma’s and visiting the cousins and the trip home … never did we hear the phrases “are we there yet?,” “is it time to go home yet?” or “I’m bored.” Peace, harmony and joy! Best Christmas ever, I mean just look at those angelic smiles.


I seem to be my family’s keep of family stories. Since I was I kid, I loved sitting with my parents during the holidays listening to their brothers and sister — my aunts and uncles — reliving family memories. Through the years, around the holidays I would ask my family to tell the same stories to my brothers and sister, nieces and nephews. We would laugh and smile as we watched my 90-year-old father transform into a kid again.

Knowing my father wouldn’t be with us forever, I thought of ways way to preserve these family stories. As luck would have it, my good friend Abe Curland from B&H Photo gave me a generous B&H holiday gift card. I took this as a sign I should stop procrastinating and get a piece of video gear I needed to preserve these family stories. So that Christmas, I sat with my father as he relived our family stories and added a little moral at the end of each. My father has since passed, but we have his video to keep our family stories alive. This Christmas, we will revisit these stories and record new ones.

Lead photo by Allan Jones, submitted to the Photofocus Flickr group.