Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Hope your holidays are picture-perfect!
And may all the magic and joy of the season be yours.

Los Angeles wedding photographer

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Photo Holiday Cards

I love cards, all cards, Christmas cards, wedding invitations, birth announcements, birthday cards. I get excited when I see a card in the mail. It's almost a ritual from admiring the handwriting on the envelope and seeing which stamp the sender chose, to carefully opening it, feeling the weight of the paper in my hand, oohing the photo or design on the front, and only then opening the card and reading the sentiments inside.

I especially love seeing the cards made by Polka Photos clients. All of my wedding and portrait packages include photos on disc because I believe that photos keep memories alive for years to come. I also think it's fun to use those photos on cards from save-the-dates to holiday cards.

Here's a couple of cute cards from Charlotte's photo session. Her mom couldn't decide between two photos, so she made two different cards. I think both are adorable.

photo Christmas card

Los Angeles Xmas card photographer

Liz and Joel send out annual newsletters. I love receiving them because it's fun to read their year in review. It's also fun to see which photos they'll choose.

Los Angeles Xmas newsletter

Christmas newsletter

photo holiday card

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas Dinner

Playa del Rey, California
Michael and I had a quiet Christmas dinner with just the two of us. I decided to decorate the whole corner of the table. In the center is a little green tinsel Christmas tree, adorned simply with a red ribbon and two star ornaments: love and joy. A statue of the Holy Family, a beautiful present we received from one of the teachers at Christ the King School, sits in front of the tree. And all of the cards we received circle the tree, so in a way we had Christmas dinner with all of our family and friends. In the foreground is a plate with oplatek, or wafer. It's Polish Catholic tradition to offer the oplatek to one's family, along with good wishes for the following year, during Wigilia, or Christmas Eve, dinner. Although I can't share the oplatek with all of you, I wish you all a new year full of love, laughter, happiness, peace and prosperity, and may this be the year all of your dreams come true!

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Blessed is the season which engages
the whole world in a conspiracy of love!
~ Hamilton Wright Mabi


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Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas in Chicago

Chicago, Illinois
Our family usually has a big dinner on Christmas Eve. In the past few years with the addition of new husbands and wives and lots of children, the family has expanded, much like our waistlines at holiday time, and the clan no longer fits around the dining room table at my mom's house for the traditional dinner.

This year we decided to celebrate early and have Sunday brunch at The Barn of Barrington with all of our extended family. We even had some family fly in from Poland and my cousins surprised us by driving all the way from South Carolina.

Here's the youngest, Ella, preparing to give a concert.

Mini-Chopin concentrates on the keys as her hair flies around à la Paderewski.

Then the moment we've all been waiting for - no, not dessert (although the mousse was exquisite, if I do say so myself)... Presents!!!

I love giving presents. The best part is watching the recipient open his or her gift. Sara is happy with her present, a pink purse made by my sister Alicja.

Opening presents can be tiring!

Olivia sneaked off into a corner to finish looking at her gifts but was soon joined by her curious cousin Sara...

... who was going on and on about something or other.

My grandmother would have loved to see everyone together. She passed away last December at the age of 99 but her presence was certainly felt today. My aunt brought a framed photo of her taken a few Christmases ago to place on the table.

My mom, sister, Michael & I opened our presents to each other the next day. Mom, Alicja & I used to watch Alias together every Sunday night so we got her spy-themed presents including an Alias book and...

night vision goggles.

Even Saba, the dog, got presents. Who knew she was on the Good List?

Chicago may have snow and freezing temperatures but our hearts were warm as we headed back to LA early the next morning.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Surfin' Santa - The Making of a Holiday Card

Capitola, California
Growing up in Chicago, winter was frost on the windows and icicles glistening in the sun, snow angels and sledding, quiet evening walks as snow spiraled from the sky, shoveling sidewalks and driveways and stuck cars, dressing in layers upon layers and seeing your warm breath make tiny clouds in the cold air, hot chocolate topped with mini marshmallows and of course Santa with his long white beard dressed in a warm red suit trimmed in fur and tall black boots.

Since moving to L.A. a few years ago, we're always looking for experiences unique to California. Palm trees covered in lights, Christmas boat parades, walks on the beach alongside swimming dolphins and Hunky Santa at the Beverly Center.

This year we headed up north to Capitola for Surfin' Santa. Capitola is a friendly beachside city just south of Santa Cruz.

Santa Claus comes to the Main St. beach the Saturday after Thanksgiving to listen to all the children's requests for bicycles and dolls and cell phones and Wiis. This year he paddled to shore with a couple of his elves, led by his reindeer on surfboards.

As the children waited in line, Michael and I explored the town.

Outside of Cafe Violette, which has the best ice cream, we came across this vintage car.

Even the Grinch couldn't spoil the day for us. We looked in all the little shops along the Esplanade. You can do all of your Christmas shopping here: get t-shirts at Sea Level T's, seashells in the appropriately named Capitola Seashells located in the Mercantile Exchange, and all of your pirate gear at Turtle Shells. The Craft Gallery Annex was one of our favorites for unique gifts from pendulums and whimsical sculptures to address books decorated with sassy women in 50's fashion sporting a witty blurb above their heads.

The best gift of all was from the city of Capitola itself - FREE parking!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

Los Angeles, California

Hope Santa brings everything on your list!

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