Usually this time of year, I have all my packages shipped, Christmas cards sent and shopping mostly done. However, this holiday season, I’m not ready and that’s okay. The universe decided it was a great time of year to change my Christmas perspective; to focus on giving holiday gifts that warm the heart.
Warm the Heart
On the evening of December 4th, the Thomas Fire rapidly ripped through our quaint beachside town. Homes burned, friends evacuated, water had to be boiled for drinking and eating, smoke-filled our skies, and the entire town shut down. It felt like we were in an apocalypse.
My Perspective on Gift-Giving
Amidst all the destruction, people stayed strong and were resilient; helping one another, bringing food for the firefighters who were away from families giving their all. Seeing our community come together in the greatest time of need made me love my town even more. We are Ventura Strong!
This fire also changed my perspective on gift-giving and what matters most. It’s not the oodles of gifts that get used a few times, then put away on the shelf, and left to collect dust. What matters most are gifts that warm the heart and bring comfort.
As we approach a new year, I choose to be conscious of my purchases. This includes buying holiday gifts that will last beyond the holidays that are responsibly made. Gifts from local Ventura and Santa Barbara businesses, to support the shops that have been greatly impacted this holiday season by the Thomas Fire. I also know that family will understand if gifts don’t arrive in time for Christmas. The more I think about it, the more I think it might be nice to have a gift or two to open after the holiday…why should giving end at Christmas?
When confronted with having to evacuate ahead of the fire, people realized what really mattered most and was most valuable. Time and time again I heard people talking about family photos. A capture of a moment in time of the ones you love most. This holiday season, spend time with family and capture memories that will last a lifetime. Kelly Sweda, a local Santa Barbara photographer, has a knack for capturing real, intimate moments of connectedness between people.
Her work is casual, natural, and light-inspired. Kelly also takes on some fashion clients, and I have had a few style photoshoots with her. The photography quality she produces along with her ability to put you at ease throughout the entire shoot makes her work unparalleled. Although based in Santa Barbara, she regularly offers travel sessions, and will come to you! Get in touch with her here for a family photo shoot!