We all seem to be starting a season of celebrating. Some of us celebrate Hanukkah, some Christmas, and some the Winter Solstice. Some of us celebrate the fact that we get two weeks off of work or school, some of us the cool weather, while some celebrate a little of each. However, as each of us gather, we all seem to be celebrating some of the same things.

Canon 60D, 85mm

We celebrate with our family. Some of us travel a long way to see beloved family members, while some of us visit family members who live close by or who add a little too much crazy to our lives. We might have grand dinners and use our best china or we might serve our favorite and traditional foods on our everyday dishes. We get together and remember where we came from and celebrate where we are going.

Minolta X700, 50 mm
lomo, lady grey 400ISO

We celebrate community. Not all of us have family close by or family that doesn’t have an abundant amount of crazy, so we have surrounded ourselves with people who have become a chosen family. We celebrate the days that were tough, but we cheered each other on. We get together with them and celebrate with food, songs, and laughter.

Mamiya 645 150 mm
Fuji Reala

We celebrate with a certain amount of charity. It is hard, in any tradition, to forget the less fortunate this time of year. As our days get shorter and filled with less light, we seem to look inward to the light in each of us. We reach out to the hungry, the hurt and the forgotten.

Canon 60D 50mm

And as we gather and do each of these things, they slowly and wonderfully become traditions. They creep into our lives and we continue to do them year after year.

Canon 60D 24-105mm

And each time we repeat a tradition… we are celebrating. Not just celebrating the holidays of this year, but all the years before it. We celebrate how much our family has been through. We celebrate the friends that have stood by us through the harshness of life. We celebrate the good years and the bad. We celebrate the times we have blown it and the times we have nailed it. Each year as we participate in one tradition, we are creating a hope for future years.

 Staci Kennelly is a mom, teacher and housemaid to three amazing teenagers, wife of a sexy photographer and lover of beer and books. She has recently fallen in love with film and shoots with a Mamiya 645 and a Minolta X700.You can find more of her digital and film images on flickr and on her blog.

Do let us know if you’re interested in joining us as a Guest Muse by sending us an email to mortalmuses9@gmail.com.