Lens-Artists Challenge #128 – And Here Comes the Holiday Season…

A strange, surreal Holiday Season. For many of us, it will be very different from earlier years.

I know many creative plans are being made to make these celebrations work – somehow and anyway. This last LAPC challenge, of the strange year 2020, is all about your Holiday Season. So what will your holidays look like? What are your plans and/or memories? Will you create new traditions or will you just ”survive” this one, looking forward to a ”normalized” celebrating next year?

For me, the holidays are all about Christmas – memories of Christmases gone by and what Christmas really, essentially means to me. What traditions can still be kept this year, and what will I have to let go of…

Well, let us begin… be my guest!

”So this is Christmas…” – John Lennon and Yoko Ono – is always present when we are decorating the Christmas tree. In Sweden we celebrate Christmas, even though not many of us are truly religious. But the message is much the same – Imagine… Wishes for Peace and Harmony. Caring for family and each other – Love for everything living. Gratitude.

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To me, Christmas also means discussing, listening to music and playing games together. Happy music, classical music, religious music…

Street music, Lodz
Piano a’ la Yayoi Kusama

Candle light was made for these the darkest days of winter. Lights in our windows are glowing the whole day – to chase the darkness away. Today’s sunrise was 8.34 AM – and sunset 15.35 PM. No complaining when I compare to my daughter Emma’s situation in Umeå: 9.27 AM and 13.45 PM. (But where I live, the sun has not shown its face for the last two months.)

Adding – just listening to the news it seems people are decorating their houses double up this year – I too bought new lights for the path up to our door…75 meters!

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. – Buddha

So far, these holidays look much the same as every year. But, Imagine Covid19 was over and gone …. then more of the happy celebrating would come alive – Going to Denmark for delicious food, coffee and cake, attending Christmas markets, traveling to beautiful places, finding snow again – at least for the Christmas card photos… and having the youngsters back for baking, laughing and pottering!

Luckily we Will have three youngsters here with us this holiday season – which makes me truly happy. Corona safe, no hugging or kissing. I know many families with mixed generations have booked barbecue places to eat outdoors in recreation areas. A very good idea.

The greatest differences will be the lack of hugs and kisses. And, our mother and grandmother will not be here with us to celebrate. Her photo is standing where she used to sit at the table, with a candle lit by her side. Maybe she Is watching us somehow, from somewhere. I’d like to think she is.

The much longed for light will slowly return, starting with the Winter Solstice, December 21. This year has made it crystal clear just how much we have to be grateful for – and how little we can take for granted.

Please include a link to my post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find your post in the WP Reader. We look very much forward to seeing your creative work!

Special thanks to Amy for her beautiful “Precious Moments.” And thank You for sharing with us so many positive and loving moments! Smiles and tears in a beautiful mix.

Finally we send our deepest and most grateful Thank You to you all for being an endless inspirational resource this special year, 2020. Hopefully we have helped each other stay reasonably sane in a crazy world. I want to close with John Lennon’s words in:

Happy Xmas (War is Over)

………………………………………..

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

……………………………………….

– someday soon we hope this invisible enemy, Corona and Covid19, will be defeated too –

Have you seen these:

KFBuchsbaum posted a Christmas card treasure

Big and small moments with Mei-Mei of Jedi by Night

Get starstruck at David M’s Photoblog

Announcement:  We’ll be on break until January 2nd at which point our theme will be Favorite Photos of 2020.

Short Note: There have been issues with WP pingbacks not working. If you don’t receive a reply or a comment from us, please let us know.

233 reaktioner på ”Lens-Artists Challenge #128 – And Here Comes the Holiday Season…

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  28. As always, excellent pictures for the challenge, Ann-Christine. All the things that I associate with the holiday season; music, lights and making tasty treats. And yes, we’ve noticed too that people seem to be making an extra effort to show their Christmas spirit with lights and decorations. Wishing you and your family a joyous celebration.

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  31. Ann-Christine (Leya), thank you for these wonderful challenges and the work, heart, and perspective it takes to make them so interesting and worthwhile! I look forward to more in 2021. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  32. A lovely reflective post. You will be remembering your mum this Christmas for sure. Hope you have a lovely time with your family.

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  41. Well amen to that — ”This year has made it crystal clear just how much we have to be grateful for”
    So true
    And enjoyed your thoughts and words
    The candles lighting the oath was an artsy image and the brass and horns in the window – what an unexpected and wonderful photo to lead into –

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  49. I hope you have a wonderful celebration this year, Leya. COVID can’t kill the joy of memories or of the beautiful lights in your pictures. I love the outdoor space photo. I am grateful for the number of hours of daylight we have after reading how few you enjoy daylight. I hope those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in the western U.S. enjoy a white or at least wet Christmas. Lots of love and virtual hugs to you and all the Lens-Artists this season. M

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  51. Merry Christmas, Leya! I know this will be a poignant holiday season for you since your Mother’s passing a few months ago, and I’m sure you must be right that she is still with you in spirit, it’s a lovely gesture that you placed her photo in a spot of honor there. Your photos in your post are all lovely, especially the ones of the candle flames…but the one of cookies being made is my favorite, and has my mouth watering!

    Wishing you and yours Happy Holidays. Thanks for the many inspiring posts from all of the Lens Artists this year.

    Heres my submission for this week:
    https://babsjeheron.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/beautiful-great-blue-heron-wishing-peace-on-earth-not-art-nbr-26/

    Best, Babsje

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  55. Lovely post Ann Christine. I wish you were able to be all together as we are here in NZ. Hopefully next Christmas.
    I love your references to cold and darkness. It’s summer here, we are sweltering and the days are long. Stay safe and well Ann Christine, I wish you the very best for 2021.

    • Thank you so much, Wendy! I know you have done a good job in NZ, much thanks to your lovely Jacinda! I am among the lucky ones though – my children will celebrate with us as usual, and we will still keep the limit of 8 persons We will be 6. Unfortunately my mother suddenly passed away in September, but her photo will sit with us at the table. And she will be in our thoughts. Merry Christmas!

  56. Ping: lens-artists challenge #128 – and here comes the holiday season | myguiltypleasures

  57. Yours is really a beautiful post this week Ann-Christine – truly a peek into your heart. It has been a difficult year for you and I know you are missing your mom. I love that she has a seat at the table and am certain she is with you all. Glad you will have your youngsters with you as well. Your images as always are wonderful but I especially loved the candlelights and the snowy closing scene. Wishing you a warm Christmas filled with love.

    • Thank you, Tina – my wishings are the same for you and yours. We’ve had a good time together this year too – let’s hope next year will be a better year than 2020 – in all respects really. We will be 6 persons for Christmas, so we will keep the 8 person limit ;-D

  58. A-C, what a beautiful post … and gallery – I wish I could provide something like this! But you know my feelings around Christmas and this year it’s harder than ever.
    Thanks for sharing your light, warmth and togehterness.

  59. I love your pohutukawa in the opening shot. For me, that’s such an integral part of Christmas. A lovely post, and I wish you and your whanau a safe, peaceful and joy-filled Christmas.

  60. It’s very beautiful expressed, Ann Christine. I love how you capture the lights and candle lights. Have a great time with you have three youngsters.
    I love the snow and tree image, so beautifully captured. we don’t get to see the snow in Texas at all. Hope the sunlight will be back soon for you.

  61. A very beautiful post that expresses the joys of the seasons and also the concerns for this one that is so different. I absolutely love the photo of the tree covered in snow. So very lovely and not often seen in our state of Tennessee. Wishing you all the best as you celebrate the holidays in any way you can.

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  65. Nice collection of holiday photos. Coincidentally, I already selected a handful to share on my Facebook page. My challenge this week is all but finished. >grin<

    Looks like I'll have to come up with a special post to make up for the missing LAPC next week. That's all well and good. You folks need a well-deserved holiday break. For all of you on the LAPC team: Thanks for spending the year coming up with weekly challenges. Have a safe and happy 2021!

    • Yes, let’s hope for a safe and happy 2021 – and hopefully you and your family will enjoy a break as well;-D. Looking forward to TWO posts from you then, John!

  66. Such a beautiful post Ann Christine. I love your candle lit path! What is a celebration without youngsters? Glad you have some family close to celebrate with. We missed over Diwali this year but are grateful we got to catch up with them finally last month. Here’s to a good new year without fear!

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  71. Beautiful post, Ann-Christine!

    It will certainly be a different Christmas, but we have to be responsible for the good of all.

    This year the meetings will only be with the nearest family, in our case, only with my children, those if all goes well and there are no more social restrictions in the coming days. We are not religious either, but we will miss meetings with the rest of the family and friends.

    • Ana – I believe I answered to this comment instead of the precious one! Glad you will have your children there with you. I will hopefully have mine as well – all in all we are six persons. Restaurants take only four persons at the same table, from Christmas. Wishing you to be safe and sending all the best to your family!

  72. Great photos all. I too like the tree and people shot, especially. Something about it. No challenge next week? OMGoodness! What will I do?! Have a good holiday. I don’t know anyone who isn’t looking forward to a 2021 that’s better than 2020. It’s time 2020 goes in the dustbin of history. Stay safe, be well, best wishes to you, your families, and friends.

  73. Your stories and images are warm and wonderful. Here in the San Francisco area as in most of America large family gatherings are discouraged. While some will not heed the warnings our family will forego the usual Christmas Eve at our home and Christmas day at my son’s. My daughter and her two children live with my wife and I and we are trying extra hard to make up for what’s missing this Christmas. I did tell my daughter that if she knows of one person who will be alone this Christmas to invite that person to our home so she won’t have to spend this Christmas alone. I put up extra lights, there is more Christmas baking going on. I’ll be setting up the electric train under the tree that has been in storage for three years because of my curious dog. Hopefully Lexi will not be Dogzilla and attack the train.
    It was twenty years ago when my kids were in their teens that I discovered a true Christmas miracle. It is the only time of the year when teenagers actually ASK to hear songs sung by Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family

    • Thank you for an absolutely lovely comment, Paulie! Your Christmas sounds like a good one as well – hope your electric train will have no extra ”passengers” ;-D. A great idea for your daughter to maybe invite a lonely friend! Here we are allowed to be 8 persons from the same household this Christmas, but we will only be 6 persons in my home.
      I had a good laugh at the miracle of course…and wish you many more this Christmas! Please send a special treat for beautiful Lexi as she is not allowed to ride the train 😀

  74. Such lovely Christmas memories and photos, Ann Christine. It’s much too warm to feel Christmassy here, but we have put up a tree and Christmas ornament display. We will be in our own this year, but will see a couple of friends, socially distanced of course.

  75. Hello Leya – arrived from visiting Vivi . . . seeing your name, reading your words . . . best wishes from hot and sunny and at moment flood-ridden Australia where the sun at the moment is setting past 8pm to smile again just after 5am . . . nice in these days when Covid makes its own tracks . . . shall be back if I may . . .

    • Thank you, Frank – and I hope we all are going to try making the best of it! I hope you are well and safe – just contact me if you find a theme suitable! Merry Christmas and hopes for a Better Year. The blog break will be from LAPC.

    • Brian, I just hope everything will work out for the best. We are allowed to meet inside our families, maximum 8 persons – and we will be 6. But Emma has to go by train – we are advised not to go by train or bus if it isn’t absolutely necessary. But she has taken all precautions. Are you going to celebrate together?

  76. I just can’t get enough of all the beautiful Christmas visuals and stories. I enjoy the run-up to the big day more than anything. The decorating, baking, planning, gift-buying, cards, wrapping, and more. This year our Christmas looks very different although we are thankfully going to be isolating with part of our immediate family. To compensate for some of the things I miss, I’m in the middle of a 12-day series of Christmas-themed posts, this one about angels. Thanks for this challenge topic.
    https://maximizingluxurytravel.com/2020/12/18/xmas-countdown-a-season-for-angels/

  77. Lovely memories and it sounds like you will have a lovely Christmas too. We don’t really bother any more and there will be no mixing of households. But I look forward to the winter solstice and the gradual extension of light, though it will be the end of January before it is noticeable. Here’s to a better year ahead and many more happy memories.

  78. Our days are longer and brighter, Ann Christine. We have friends here, but no family, and certainly no children. We haven’t made plans as we expected to be in England. So, Christmas will come and go… another day! And we will try to be grateful for what we have. Wishing you peace, joy, and a lot more light in your life 🙂 🙂 Thank you for your lovely posts.

    • And thank you for Your lovely posts, Jo! Yes, this year has taught us much patience, gratitude for what we have got and the fact that we can take nothing for granted. Surely 2021 cannot be worse than 2020?

      • I’m reserving judgement, hon 🙂 We went to a Portuguese carol concert this evening, then booked flights to the UK at Easter. We’ll see how that goes… 🙂

      • Good. And yes…I have booked a surprise flight and stay for my husband’s 70th birthday in July. I am not sure it will be possible…Never give up hoping though.

  79. That’s a nice and varied selection. The last photo of the tree is really nice.

    Thanks for the mention. I’ll have to see what I can come up with for this challenge.

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