Holidays are for Family and Friends

Christmas Tree, Waterloo Ice House - Austin, Texas

Christmas Tree, Waterloo Ice House – Austin, Texas

I’m wrapping up the mini-series of holiday imagery with this modest but festive Christmas Tree. It doesn’t match the grandness of the Driskill Tree but outshines the bland corporate decorations of the Barton Creek Square shopping mall. This tree is just right for that personal touch, found at Waterloo Ice House, a restaurant I frequent with my friend Chuck.

I attended a few holiday parties this December — all very nice. Though ultimately, they lacked a personal connection. My dinner with Chuck last week was by far the best. We sat for nearly four hours to talk about photography, cameras, kids, and life. We’ve continued to get together regularly, and I cherish these talks.

Now that my wife and I are empty-nesters, we look forward to visits from our sons. The younger one is halfway through his sophomore year and doing well socially and academically. He appears to have secured all As, bucking the sophomore slump curse. He gets a month’s respite before starting college.

The older son works full time, arriving before Christmas and staying for a few days — we’ve had deep conversations about work and corporate life. He’s making good progress with his career and secured a raise and a generous bonus.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stresses of shopping and gift-giving. However, the connections with family and friends make it worthwhile. I hope all of you are strengthening the bonds with the people close to you.

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