This Holiday Season, I'm Going to Make an Effort to Capture All My Favorite Memories

This year, overall, has been hard. I live a few hundred miles away from my parents, and because of everything going on in 2020, I haven't seen them since last Christmas. While I always look forward to the holidays with my family, this year feels bigger. Because there's been so much separation this year, I plan to enjoy this holiday season with my family more than ever — and that includes actually taking pictures.

My family hasn't spent Christmas morning together in probably two decades. My brothers are much older than me, so when they moved out and had their own families, we started working around them. When I moved across the country, we started working around all of us. Sometimes we have Christmas a week early and sometimes it's a week late. Sometimes it's at my parents' house and sometimes it's at my brother's house. There have even been years when we don't have everyone together at all. I've even missed a few Christmases because of work or because it was too expensive to travel.

I already know our holiday get-together this year will be one of the brightest spots in what has been such a trying year.

If 2020 has taught me anything, it's that life is very short and can change at any time, so that's why I'm really dedicated to making the most of our family holiday this year. Every year when we get together, every single one of us has a phone, and yet no one ever seems to take any photos. We get caught up in enjoying each others' company, and while I think that's so important, I want to make sure I'm capturing these memories for later.

Taking pictures seems like such a simple thing to remember to do, but I find it actually really hard. Like I said, we always get caught up in enjoying being around each other, and by the time everyone has gone home, I realize that I have no photographic evidence of even spending the holidays with my family. And for us, since we see each other so sparingly, these photos would be such a blessing to remember these small moments. During a good year, I see my parents and one of my brothers a handful of times, but I only see my other brother and his family once a year, at most. All of my nieces and nephews (there are SO many of them) are growing up so quickly, and being able to snap those moments in time when we're together will be the best little treasures years from now when they're all grown up.

I also just would love to be able to document all these memories so my parents have them. My mom's always been the photo-taker in the family, which means she isn't in enough of them, so this year, I'd like to get her in front of the camera, so she and my dad can have pictures with all their kids and grandkids. It might require writing a reminder on my hand in marker to take pictures, but I want to stick to it, because I already know our holiday get-together will be one of the brightest spots in what has been such a trying year.