The Beauty of Capturing Family Moments...A Bruce Family Christmas

So last spring I went to breakfast with Marianne, one of my favorite editor friends. I was telling her about my friend Danielle's videography business and this idea that Danielle had been talking about. Danielle's an incredibly gifted photographer and videographer, she specializes in birth videos. But she'd been talking about, rather than just doing family photo sessions, what if she started doing family video sessions? The notion of capturing a glimpse of real, moving life. Marianne loved the idea. She told me when her kids were little (specifically her twin boys!), that time of life is a blur. We all know that phase (lots of us are living it out now), chaos and monotony and exhaustion. I feel that way, even about the timeframe when Ash was very small. The sleep-deprivation alone! It's a blur. But a beautiful blur. Marianne said she would have loved something like a video glimpse of life with her little ones.

When Danielle mentioned doing a video promo capturing family holiday traditions--well, I'm a holiday girl, so I loved that idea. Some of my best growing-up memories are of the "getting ready for Christmas" experience. My mom wrestling with the lights on the tree, the Sarah, Plain and Tall village set on top of the piano, taking out the Nativity, all our family ornaments, hanging a wreath outside, watching a Christmas special on TV, candles glowing, hot chocolate and marshmallows. My mom made those moments special, and I will forever treasure those memories. I wish I had a video glimpse of those traditions!

Which makes Danielle's idea so brilliant! At our house, we have a "mom" tree and a "kid" tree. Ha! I LOVE decorating our Christmas tree. But we also have a small tree that's strictly for the kids to decorate. I knew I wanted that to be part of our video. My kids love making cookies more than anything and they love hot cocoa. Knowing Danielle was coming over to video a special night for our family, I made chicken and dumplings, because that's Jeff's absolute favorite. (I also bought us special matching shirts just because. No, we don't usually match at our house!) We watched A Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol, this is special for my family, and for me because we watched that every year when I was small. We ate popcorn because that's our family tradition for movie night. We read If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, because it's one of my kids' favorite Christmas stories and the book belonged to my Mimi.

In other words, every moment you see in this video is special for our family. I. Love. It.

I admit, at first it can be a little awkward with someone videoing your family. Then you remember that she can edit out awkwardness (Yay!) so you just do what you normally do and it's fun.

I so recommend doing something like this. And for our local friends here in Colorado, check out Danielle's website and see what she does because it's amazing. This video is tailor-made for holiday memories, but she does regular, day-in-the-life videos that are gorgeous. Here are all the ways to connect with her:

Like Marianne said, life with kids can be a blur. We hold on to what we can and this is a great way to do that. I'm all about more video in my life. (I'm already sort of obsessed with taking pictures of my kiddos. If you haven't heard of the One Second Everyday app, you totally need to check it out.) So many of our memories are helped along by photos. When I look through old picture albums of my childhood, suddenly memories are sparked. I remember the year Sara and I got Promise Keypers for Christmas (we loved those things!). I remember getting new jackets one Christmas at my Aunt Stacey's. I remember the Christmas Jeff and I told our family we were expecting. (I still want to cry when I remember how excited my mom was.) We can't freeze time, loveys, but we can remember.

Making memories is a fantastic part of the holiday season, from carving pumpkins and trick-or-treating to baking cookies and watching Miracle on 34th St. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into my family's holiday traditions.

Merry Christmas, loveys. Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king.

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