Let's Get Personal

We need to talk about Christmas. Around this time every year the letterbox starts being weighed down with catalogues. Hundreds of them. Poking their suggestive noses through the tiny protesting gap. My hubster, who is a Catalogue Fanatic (is there an AA for that?), adores the onslaught because it means he can shop for New Boy's Toys. However, I hate The Catalogue Battalion that attacks each November and December. It's such a frightening sign of our consumptive times. We spend so much on Christmas presents each year that I'm worried our wallets won't keep up with the annual increase in gift inflation. ("What? You only got me a Maserati this year? What happened to the Bugatti Veyron I wanted?") I remember when we used to receive one big present each year followed by a stocking full of smaller things. I also remember when I used to create hand-made gifts... Ah, those were the sentimental days.

All this catalogue-ing - and the reminiscing and nostalgia-ing that has gone with it -- has started me thinking. I want this Christmas to be different. I want our family's gifts to be a) thoughtful, b) meaningful, c) inexpensive, and d) inexpensive. (Did I mention inexpensive?) So this year, I've decided to do something different. I've decided to use the camera for something other than work and take really beautiful, memorable, black-and-white portraits of each member of our family, and then offer copies to others. (For example, my mum will want a duplicate of everyone.) I know. It will be difficult persuading them that these portraits are better than a Maserati/iPad/first edition book/flight to New York. I know I'll have to do some serious selling. ("How can you SAY that you would have preferred a Bugatti?!") But I can only try. Who knows? Perhaps one day, in years to come, they might look back on their beautiful portraits and thank me for the memorable gift.

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