It's my favorite time of year!

This season after Halloween right through the end of the year is truly my most cherished. It is a special time when people make a more conscious effort to open up their homes and open up their hearts to those around them. I don't know if its the colder temperatures that have us wanting to show warmth and kindness even more or if its just one of these things we do now but I love playing my part.

I know I specifically get my giving spirit from my grandmother. She was someone who shopped for Christmas all year long. She would just be out at a store and no matter the time of year if it made her think of you or if she thought it was something you'd like she'd get it and tuck it away for December. Sometimes she couldn't wait and she would just give it to you early. And it wasn't just presents. She'd drop by with groceries or cake and ice cream if it was your birthday. She never forgot an anniversary or a birthday. She was the kind of person to send you a card for any and every occasion. It was the type of thing that really warmed you and made you feel lighter, knowing that someone out there was always thinking of you. Christmas was her favorite time of year. Its when all of these little acts of love could come together. I think that's why I love this season so much too because whether its a handmade Christmas card, or a homespun baked treat, or a thoughtful gift, there are so many opportunities to let those close to you know you care and that you're thinking of them. Her smile was brightest on Christmas Eve, in the kitchen fixing dinner for us all, presents in the other room.

Photos can be a really great gift idea especially for those people who are hard to buy for or for those parents that are always behind the phone camera and never get to be in the photos themselves. I always think the best gifts are those that hit the sweet spot between what someone wants and what they might never purchase for themselves. Gifting a photo session can be the perfect nudge for the family or couple who has never had professional photos taken or who may just always be on the go and needs the right excuse to slow down for an afternoon.

With so many photos just living in our phones these days there are a lot of great products that can transform those digital memories into something tangible. Again, a great canvas print or something nicely framed can be just the thoughtful touch for someone in your life that wouldn't normally do that for themselves. And let's face it, 2020 has been a challenging year but its also been a year filled with unique moments. So whether its wanting to remember this year in full, or maybe someone you know had a baby or got married this past year, a photo album can be the perfect way to organize and document a special year. I know there are a lot of printing services out there but there is nothing like leaving your photo requests in the hands of a professional. Quality is guaranteed and the stress of formatting and organizing are out of your hands. Whether its a photo album, a cute personal Christmas ornament, your next Christmas card or just a well printed and framed photo, I have the ability to handle it all.

I know everyone says that this time of year shouldn't be about material things and that instead it should be focused on who you can be with and how you can spend your time with those you love. But in an era where being physically close isn't always safe and possible, I challenge the notion of gift giving as inherently shallow and instead encourage us all to give in a way that will bring you together despite any distance.