‘Tis the Season


As a child, I could never sleep the night before Christmas. I would sneak into the living room to check out what Santa had delivered, by the glow of the streetlight. There was the year my Mom blocked the hallway with the open closet door, tying bells to the knob, in an attempt to keep me from peeking. (Note to mother: this ploy did not work).

I lay in bed, fizzing and popping with excitement. I would wake up my younger brother and sister, sending them in to wake our parents. This was followed by the excruciating wait while my Dad shaved – for some reason, we weren’t allowed to open a single gift until that morning ritual was complete.

I remember the year of my play kitchen – a pink cardboard refrigerator, stove and sink, with molded plastic food. Oh, how I loved that kitchen! My mechanical engineer father remembered that holiday as the one spent placing “tab A into tab B” for hours on end.

There was the year I received my white go-go boots (“these boots are made for walking…”) which I wore with my fuzzy mohair sweater. My “Hedda Get Bedda” doll which had three different faces – by turning the knob on top of her head she went from smiling to sick with the measles to peacefully sleeping – training for future motherhood.

Our shiny aluminum Christmas tree, with its revolving flood light, colors pulsing from red to blue to green. The magical animated window displays at Polsky’s and O’Neils on Main Street, our breath crystalizing in the frosty air, snowflakes swirling.

The congregation singing “Silent Night”, the church sanctuary lit only by candlelight, flames flickering, wax dripping. My mom’s cinnamon buns, nut-filled Christmas cookies and peanut butter fudge balls. My red velvet holiday dress and black patent-leather shoes.

Christmas through the eyes of a child.

For 2011, I want just a little bit of that wonder, that magic, that delight. What about you? What are your favorite memories of Christmas past?

Texture Tuesday Processing
The original image and layers palette can be found below.

  • Copied the original 2010 image to a new layer.
  • Cloned out the zero in 2010. Selected the “1”, copying the selection to its own layer. Moved and transformed so that the date was 2011. Merged layers.
  • Ran the “Vintage” action (courtesy of Pioneer Women Photography)
  • Processed my midtone-contrast action to sharpen the edges and textures
  • Added the Phoebe texture, setting blend mode to Vivid Light and opacity to 25%
  • Added an overall Levels adjustment to improve contrast

Layers-Palette Dec-6-Before


Linking with Kim Klassen’s Texture Tuesday


Posted on December 6, 2011, in Photoshop and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. What an evocative..magical image. I can see how it brings back all of your favorite childhood memories. Love your processing…seeing how it is you’ve transformed the original.

  2. Love that photo and the texure you’ve used. Lovely Christmas memories too. I so remember that not being able to sleep feeling, so much anticipation! My favourite year was the year I got my girl’s world – I can’t tell you how much I wanted it and how thrilled I was to receive it!

  3. Hi Brenda! Both the original and vintage image are gorgeous! I hope you enlarge them and display it each christmas… it’s beautiful.
    Maybe having a 2 year old helps.. but the magic of xmas is totally there through her eyes… we’re drawing it out as long as we can! Last night we kicked off the season by getting our tree and putting shoes out for “St. Nick”… I think part of the wonder is the anticipation, and as adults, it’s been reduced to shopping… there’s something to those 12 days of xmas!

  4. This made me smile and brought back many of my own childhood memories. We used to always get a velvet dress for to wear on Christmas day and black patent shoes too. :0) My mother would come into our rooms late at night to hang our stockings and she would lean over my face to check that I was asleep. It was all I could do not to giggle. I was good though and managed to wait until the morning before opening my presents.

    One christmas that sticks in my mind is the year when my brother got a spiderman outfit, my sister had a spanish dress and my sister and I were given realistic looking baby dolls which came with their own beds to sleep in.

  5. Beautiful photo…and beautiful Christmas memories!

  6. Such fun memories! I love the simplicity and tones of your image.

  7. I had one of those kitchens too!!
    Played with it until it completely fell apart.
    Thank you for the wonderful memory Brenda!!
    P.S. LOVE the bokeh in this shot! Just gorgeous.,

  8. Wow, this is gorgeous! I love your texture work here.

  9. Such wonderful memories! I have similar ones of dying to know what presents I was getting. The trick now is how to create some magic for my teenagers. My eldest has just ordered his gifts from us on line. I’ll have to think of a little extra something for Christmas day.

  10. wonderful manipulation and transformation; lovely texture processing. thanks for sharing your work. {visiting from TT}

  11. fabulously creative… thanks for joining TT…and for stopping by Shutter sisters…. xo

I greatly appreciate your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: