December 24

Mary Dougherty

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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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It’s not just Christmas we celebrate at the end of December. It’s birthdays. The season starts off just after Thanksgiving, and from there until the end of January a large number of family birthdays take place. It’s fun to be together and throw a party, especially so for the little ones in our lives. On the 24th we gathered to not only celebrate Christmas eve but this year Julia turning 4.

Birthday meals are always chosen in our family by the birthday boy or girl, and this year that included homemade macaroni and cheese, fruit salad and a pink birthday cake. The tradition is catching on for other birthdays, but started with Julia’s : we sing happy birthday as many different ways as my sister can think of on the piano. It starts out with the traditional melody, then shifts to a western tune, then is jazzed up, jumps into a waltz, and so on and so forth. While we shared the music genes growing up it was apparently fairly quickly that she had the talent and passion to pursue it… and is successfully fostering it in the kids. (I seriously love how much they sing when we’re around them, it’s adorable).

Although kids grow to the age where they only want to have a party with friends, or be able to bring in cupcakes to school and celebrate with their peers… I love that the holidays include Julia’s birthday and so far we have celebrated every year with my wonderful niece!

Little brothers like to keep an on eye the birthday cake but thankfully he didn’t try to swipe any early! Matt and I picked up some pink foam paper and sequins so that Julia could make a little crown to wear at the party.

Among the stories Julia loves to hear and play make believe, Cinderella is her favorite… which is why the Cinderella dress my mom made her was perfect! I just love being an aunt and it’s so fun to see this little girl grow up!

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