It’s time for the annual Christmas card. Last year I took it in Convent Garden, London. This year it’s in the beautiful city of lights, Paris. In the photo from last year I used a vintage jacket and decided to use it in this year’s shooting as well and start a new tradition. And that takes us to this year’s theme: why do we love traditions?
While coming up with the idea, I thought it to be a good connection to Christmas and how we always like to go to the same place where we had the strongest memory of happiness, warm, cozy, belonging – usually that place is with our family so we take trains, cars and planes and go in search of that Christmas spirit that developed itself in our conscience 20-something years ago. That’s when most of people get the best gifts from a magical Santa Claus and they manage to eat all the goodies that their mothers or grandmothers used to do. So there you have the first reason we love traditions: Things that were good will be repeated.
The idea of a Happy Christmas for me is Paris. Some years ago I had my first Christmas experience in the city of lights. It was also my first time in Paris. Even though it was freezing cold and could only walk 500 metres before heading into another place to get a coffee, a hot chocolate or some tea and there wasn’t many places that I could spend hours and hours watching from outside, there was this sense of belonging to a magical place. When I was a kid and I used to dream about huge trees, the colorful and joyful city lights, nice smells coming from every shop, every house and every street corner. Bright lights, huge decorations and Christmas cheer – that was the thing that my friends brought along when they said “we’re making sure that you will have the best Christmas ever”. That is why I choose to do it all over again this year. And it felt like I belonged here since the first step I took on CDG a few days ago. And that brings the second reason we love traditions: A place and a context reinforces a sense of belonging.
Whether it’s drinking egg nog or enjoying lots and lots of meat, cakes and special Christmas dishes and recipes, whether it’s wearing a special sweater or a new T-shirt or those red socks with reindeers on them – I have ones with some 3D applications that I’ll be showing in next shoot – whether it’s our defined role in the group and the chores we have to do in order to keep everything going for a great Christmas, traditions give us roles.
Traditions give us context. And they give us a story that we can chose to replay and re-live over and over again. Traditions bring some ancient habbits and a spirit that has been around for centuries and will never go away, even though technology plays its part in transforming it. It’s the same with this gray jacket that I decided to use in my Christmas card-photos. Christmas never gets old. And this jacket will never get old as well. Some things never do. They’ll be there for us whenever we need them to.
We sometimes forget that some clothes don’t follow the trend of the moment and they give a classical look to everything. It’s a jacket that could’ve been worn 5 or 10 years go and I hope it will be as relevant in the future. It’s made by organic wool and it has a combination of lighter shades of grey.
Because we need light for Christmas. And I wish the same for you too, dear reader. Lots and lots of light in your souls, in your homes, in your clothes, in your eyes.
Photography & editing: Curtis MacNewton