Many people rant about Christmas trees going up in summer at craft stores, gift displays erected before Halloween, and general rumbling about department store holiday Muzak in November.

I beat everyone, always, as I have to prepare well in advance of Christmas for holiday portraits.

By mid-summer I’m already sweating the new holiday scene, watching for props, considering card designs. I won’t actually put up the tree in the studio until Halloween night, hanging decorations while I wait for trick or treaters, but I have to shoot sample images to put on my mailouts and ads way ahead of that.

Yesterday I ran around town trying to find red pajamas. They did NOT have to be Christmas, mind you, just red.

I tried discount stores–Wal-Mart, Target. I tried department stores–Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Dillards, JC Penney. Then I progressed to kid shops–Children’s Place, Gap Kids, Gymboree. My sense of panic grew as the day wore on and nothing but pink, yellow, blue, pastels. Was red just taboo this year? Did they withhold it to make sure everyone bought it at Christmas?

Finally at a boutique shop, Bright Beginnings, I found little pink gowns with characters in red coats and muffs. Close enough! I had just about given up on using my dad, who was in town for the weekend, as Santa in the new scene, even though he loves doing it. I didn’t have anything for the girls to wear!

But saved by the high-end kids clothing store. They tend to have leftovers from previous seasons, so I don’t have to wait for new shipments. Thankfully that had sizes close enough to the girls to make do.


So here’s the new design. I will be selling porcelain plates with images like these on it, perfect gift for grandma–a cookie plate with their grandkids giving cookies to Santa. The set is designed so that it will be very easy to splice in other kids with my dad, a clean seam down the middle.

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