Every year, I have the same conversation with my Mum.
“What sort of thing would you like for Christmas this year?”
“Oh…I don’t need anything.”
“Yes, I know that, but I’d like to buy you something.”
“Honestly, I don’t need anything. How about some of that nice bath stuff from M&S?”
This conversation is the single most frustrating conversation I have with my Mum, with the notable exception of any conversation that starts with the words, “I’m using my laptop and wondered if you could help…”
The thing is I don’t want us to be one of those families where we only buy presents for the children. Fair enough if it works for you, but in my family, we think everyone deserves a gift. Why not show someone you appreciate them and want to make them happy? Also, I love getting presents. Ahem.
Anyway, I can’t be the only person tearing my hair out with frustration at wanting to get my parents a gift they’ll love, and being utterly, utterly stuck for ideas. So I thought I’d share my genius solution this year.
Back in November it was my Mum’s birthday and I was at a loss as to what to buy, when it occurred to me that the thing my Mum (and Dad) love more than anything these days is their grandchildren. Their shelves are stacked with baby photos, school photos, nativity play photos… but what they don’t have are any really great photos of the children as they are right now, and certainly none of them with the children.
So I hit upon the idea of booking a professional photographer to do a photo session with my parents and their grandchildren. To capture how they are now, and how much they enjoy spending time together. So many of us have professional photos when our children are born, but then don’t bother doing it again until we are at a wedding. And personally, I’d much rather have pictures that capture us doing the things we do in the places we love rather than something in a studio.
Luckily, I happen to know an amazing professional photographer who doesn’t live too far from us.
Tom agreed to come over to Lancashire for a morning, and we all headed off to a local park for a photo session.
My folks loved it. Tom was brilliant with the kids, and took some of the best pictures of my camera-shy nephew I’ve ever seen, as well as some gorgeous (yes, I’m biased, but it’s still true) photos of Flea and my niece. We were all done and dusted in a couple of hours and a few days later we had a virtual gallery of around 100 images that we could choose from. I’ve ordered a couple of prints for my parents to display on their wall, and then ordered a photo book from Blurb containing the rest of the pictures, along with some hand-written notes and pictures from the children.
A professional photo shoot didn’t cost as much as I thought – it was a little less than the day spa I bought my Mum a couple of years back, although the cost of the prints and books needs to be taken into account.
So a huge thanks to Tom at Tom Arber Photography, for helping me to sort Christmas!