Christmas Traditions

25 12 2007

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My family has had traditions for Christmas ever since I was small. A lot of the traditions would be food related. Christmas Eve we would dress up and have Julgrött for breakfast with pumpkin bread and orange juice at 9:00. Lunch would be pizza cuz we like it and it’s easy. Christmas Day breakfast would be the same as the previous day concerning attire, food and time. No one was allowed to leave the table until everyone finished. Luke 2 would be read and as I would distribute the presents a MoTab Christmas video would be playing in the background. One by one we would take a turn to open our presents going in a clockwise direction. Then we would see what everyone got. Occasionally we would give gag gifts. One of the grandest gag gifts that I ever received was from Katherine. The idea came from a trip to Cleveland with some of us packed into a minivan for a YSA Christmas party. My hands were dry, and I asked if anybody had lotion. Tara was the only person who had some but it was “smelly lotion.” That’s okey, I can handle smelly lotion. It was Sweet Pea Lotion by Bath and Body Works. It felt good to my epidermis. After dinner we played the “what if…” game. I never heard the end of the lotion jokes. It was hilarious. Anyways, that’s the gag gift I got from Katherine, a big bottle of Sweet Pea lotion.

Shaun joined in this year with some gag gifts by giving an empty tape dispenser and a little bag of chips. He cracked himself up. Emma bought everyone a bottle of hand sanitizer since it is London afterall. My mom would for some reason like to count how many each of us got. Since we all didn’t have school we would end up watching movies together. A couple of movies we watch probably every year would be “Holiday Inn” and “White Christmas”. One of the movies that Shaun would see every year is “Christmas Vacation.” Another tradition would be going for a long walk before dinner. Sometimes we would make snowmen, campfires or even one year we made a huge igloo and slept in it.What kind of cool Christmas traditions do you have?

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Christmas Music

24 12 2007

I find it interesting that there are so many genres for Christmas music i.e.: country, MoTab, reggae, steel drum, jazzy, big band, pop, serious, instrumental, a capella and the list goes on. Last year my favorite album was probably an instrumental one by Jon Schmidt. This year my favorite CD has been Jingles II by Voice Male. One of my favorite tracks has been “Baby, it’s cold outside.” We’ll see what next year will be. Hmmm.





Recuperation

21 12 2007

The day after the festivities was in need of recuperation for sure. In the evening we had our mom’s sister and husband for a visit. Afterwards, my sisters thought of doing massages. Yeah, when I finished with some emails, there were massages awaiting. Lovely. So we did while watching Phantom of the Opera. I’ve been wanting to watch it. After like two hours of massages I thought, boy, this movie is long because it felt like it wasn’t the end yet. But I didn’t mind getting/giving massages. The Phantom did pretty well considering his short voice training of six weeks. Phantom at the London theatre does have a better voice. And the thing with watching movies like that one is the songs get stuck in your head. The next morning the first thing in my head was those songs. Les Miserables, the musical in London did the same thing.





Wedding Photos

20 12 2007

Concerning weddings I’ve always heard how busy, stressful and tiring it can be if you are involved with it. Well, it’s true. Even though I didn’t have the bigger portion on my shoulders, there are a lot of things to think about. Since doing the photography for my own sister, I was a bit hampered by being in some family shots and being speeches and all that. Scott Kelby puts it this way concerning wedding photography in his “The Digital Photography Book”,

If you’re living your life and you think to yourself, “Ya know, I’ve got it pretty easy,” then it’s time to shoot a wedding. Don’t worrythis isn’t something you’re going to have to go looking for-if you’ve got one long lens (200mm or longer), it will find you. That’s because in a lot of people’s minds, if you have a long lens, you’re a serious photographer. It’s true. Seriously, try this: show up at an event with a 200mm or 400mm lens on your camera and people will literally get out of your way. They assume you’ve been hired by the event and that you’re on official photography business, and they will stand aside to let you shoot. It’s equivalent of walking into a factory with a clipboardpeople assume you’re legit and they let you go about your business. Add a photographer’s vest and it’s like having an official press pass to anything (try this oneyou’ll be amazed). Anyway, if you have a long lens, before long someone you know will get married but they won’t have a budget for a professional photographer (like your cousin Earl). He’ll ask, “Can you shoot our wedding photos?” Of course, you’re a nice person and you say, “Why sure.” Big mistake. You’re going to work your butt off, miss all the food, drinks, and fun, and you’ll experience stress at a level only NORAD radar operators monitoring North Korea ever achieve. A wedding ceremony happens once in real time. There are no second takes, no room for mess-ups, no excuses. Don’t make Earl’s bride really madread this chapter first.

Everything does happen really fast and it felt that there was little time to eat. Since I was in the bridal party not so many photos were taken as I could have for obvious reasons. But it was the first time to photograph a real wedding. I am quite satisfied with the results. I hope there will be more in the future especially this upcoming summer to broaden my portfolio. I’m looking forward to it. =)





Nancy + Shaun=Wedding

19 12 2007

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The Wedding went well. It was foremostly to Nancy’s specifications with family and friends: small, simple and elegant. In England, they don’t recognize the sealing in the temple so what people do here is get married civilly and then go to the temple to be sealed. The marriage was performed by the Bishop in our chapel. Dinner followed by leaving to the temple. Everyone in my family are such jokers so it was not traditional and it was comedy hour mixed into the event. Everyone likes to be the comedian. 😉 Shaun is also a goof so he fits in quite well. During the dinner he left our table to head towards the table Sue (who is around 50) sat at. He got by her and kneeled down on one knee. Before he said anything, her quick wit came into play by saying out loud so everyone could hear, “No I will not. You’re a married man.” All eyes turned towards them one second and the next second everyone was busting up laughing.





Meadowhall

6 12 2007

Meadowhall, for those of you who don’t know, is a behemothic mall here in Sheffield. The other day when I left work two guys stopped me with the words, “Could you take some snaps?” “Sure, no problem,” I replied. These two guys wanted not one or two photos but loads. I didn’t mind. We ended up chatting for a good while walking around the mall and “taking snaps.” They have come from Nigeria to work on their masters degree in biological science. They were a hoot. It was difficult to get good lighting until we saw a jewelry store. It was completely lit up inside. We gotta take a snap in there, one said. We went in. The one guy who’s married, intiated by saying how he is looking for a ring but he has no money to buy one of theirs; however, he would like to take a ‘snap’ to prove to his affectionate other that he really went to the jewelry store. The ladies working there, thought it was cute and obliged.

Another funny thing about Meadowhall is that there are so many people that as I was walking by McDonalds I noticed they had two employees pumping ketchup and BBQ sauce for the consumers. When they come home and meet up with their buddies and get asked what did you do today, they get to say proudly “I pumped ketchup and BBQ sauce all day.” Why not just have those little ketchup packets? Go figure.