I think it’s safe to say that many of us have holiday traditions. They can be activities that we participate in at this time of year, or special foods we make. Carols we sing or favorite holiday movies that we watch. One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is decorating our Christmas tree with ornaments that we’ve collected from places we’ve visited over the years. Each time we hang an ornament, it ultimately leads to a conversation of a memory from that trip. We also recently attended the Ripon (CA) Christmas Light Parade, which has become another family favorite!

I photographed the Van Groningen family in the fall, and we got to talking about the holidays and the traditions we had in common as well as ones that were unique to our families.
They had come prepared and donned their holiday t-shirts at the end of the session. As you may notice, this mom and daughter have a long-standing tradition of watching Hallmark movies while drinking hot cocoa together. They have the shirts to prove it! We also shared our love of driving around the valley and looking at the Christmas light displays, as well as baking and decorating Christmas cookies.

Dad and the son tried valiantly to meet the expectations of their “Bah Humbug” shirts, but they weren’t fooling me. I could tell that these holiday traditions were just as important to them.

Whatever your family’s traditions are this season, I hope you embrace and enjoy them fully. Merry Christmas!

For information on Christmas light displays in the Central Valley, click here

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