Friday, December 28, 2012

The Best Photos of 2012

New Year's Eve is often a time of reflection and introspection. We look back on a year of memories and inside ourselves to contemplate what impact we may have had on those memories.

Personally, I'm not sure I remember a more exciting year for our family than 2012, with weddings, milestone birthdays and the long-awaited arrival of our second grandchild. It will be difficult this Dec. 31 to look back and feel anything but overwhelming gratitude.

The bigger picture, however, is comprised of indelible images, which, as always, are a combination of the beauty and ugliness in the world.  From the horror of Sandy Hook this month to the gold-medal finishes of Olympians in London this past summer, there are events and celebrations that will be remembered for decades to come.

So before we march ahead to 2013 with all the hope and promise we wish for in life, here's a retrospective look at some of 2012's best photos.  Note some people may find a portion of the content disturbing because of graphic content or nudity.

Reuters Best Photos of the Year

Huffington Post AP's Choices for Top Photos of 2012

boston.com Best Nature Pictures of 2012

TIME Picks the Most Surprising Photos of 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year's Illustrations to Help Ring in Your 2013

The tree is bereft of presents, the detritus of Christmas morning cleared away, the special time shared with family now added to the memory bank.  So much so that at the annual Boxing Day celebration with my husband's clan, most of the talk once the "What did Santa bring you?" question was well answered, centred around the new year and plans for ringing out the old. 

So, what are you up to New Year's Eve? The lyrics of a Michel Pagliaro song tend to come to mind when I consider that question: "Some sing, some dance, some like romance."  From big bashes, to fancy fetes to intimate interludes people have their favourite way of ushering in the new year, in very different ways.

Just for fun, here's an early welcome to 2013, with some illustrations that include a number of excellent celebration examples:

iCLIPART.com New Year's Illustrations

Pinterest.com iCLIPART New Year Collection

Clipart Guide New Year Collection

TOONClipart New Year Cartoons

Monday, December 24, 2012

Capture Christmas Memories on Video

Tomorrow we celebrate Christmas, when families come together on, what is to me, the most beautiful holiday of the year. It is a time of love, peace, goodwill, generosity and perhaps more significantly than any other holiday, tradition.

On a rare quiet evening recently, I found a few moments to curl up on the sofa with a glass of wine, and decided to watch a video of a past Christmas.  It had been taken with a borrowed camera several years ago and started just as so many Christmas photographs before it, with my brood lined up down the staircase beside their stockings.  What began as an idea when our babies were small, became a tradition that lasted until our kids left to begin their own — families and traditions, that is. 

It is for this reason I am so very happy, that for one time at least, we captured it on video too.

It was difficult the first year my husband and I woke Christmas morning to an empty home.  Sure,  everyone was arriving later in the day, but it seemed very strange to see one of our traditions stop. However, I've realized that while we may say goodbye to some, new ones come along to replace them.

And these, which evolved because of new loves and new babies being welcomed into our fold, have become as treasured as those that were part of our holidays years ago. Fortunately, they have been captured on film, both still and live, and thus endure forever.  Below are some ideas about capturing Christmas memories on video:

eHow Make Christmas Special by Videotaping Your Events

Daily Mail Fathers Videotapes Children Christmas Morning Over 25 Years

Examiner How to Make Great Family Videos on Christmas Morning