Lens-Artists Challenge #177 – Celebrating

snow, sunrise
It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

“In the morning, celebrate the beauty and warmth of sun light,in the evening, celebrate the song of silence and love of night.”

Debasish Mridha

As we enter this year’s holiday season in many parts of the world, Amy has challenged us to focus our lenses on “Celebrating”. At the same time, Terri of Sunday Stills invites her followers to find images that illustrate holiday music lyrics. I couldn’t resist combining the two challenges in my response this week. I’ve opened with a snowy scene from a Thanksgiving celebration with family in Colorado. You can bet that with rare exceptions, most any image I post that includes snow was not made around my home in South Carolina 😊. On the other hand, they are forecasting a foot of snow in Hawaii this week, and it’s in the 70s in Denver – go figure!

Fire, fireplace
Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

“When the night gets here, I’ll be the youngest I’ll ever be again, so I will laugh and celebrate relative youth.”

Darnell Lamont Walker

From yet another family celebration, the image above captures the fireplace of my brother and sister-in-law’s home where each year we celebrate Christmas. Since Covid began, we have missed gathering as we are a large group coming from multiple areas of the country. Now, as our family grows, it becomes ever-more difficult to gather as the little ones await the arrival of Santa in their own homes. The new plan is to gather later in the year and create our own holiday – and why not? Who says Christmas only comes once a year?!

Joy, Christmas, gifts, bow, wrapping

Joy To The World

“The flowers have bloomed, the birds are singing, the sun is there in the sky—celebrate it! 


I’ve included the image above from last Christmas on a previous post. To me it embodies the idea of the joy of the holidays and that of both giving and receiving gifts. Of course Christmas is about much more than gifts but you have to admit they are a fun element of the season. Truth be told, all of the boxes are actually empty, I simply use them for decoration under the tree.

Snow, lake, Patagonia, Laguna de los Tres, Mt. Fitzroy
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

“Take the time to celebrate stillness and silence and see the joy that the world can bring, simply.”

Tony Curl

Without knowing the story behind it, one would be challenged to understand why the image above represents a celebration – but indeed it does. First, it’s a celebration of friendship as the scene was the culmination of a difficult hike in Patagonia that a good friend and I made together. And second, she and I celebrated together the exhilaration of reaching the summit in a horrific windstorm that nearly did us in! So yes, to me a memorable celebration took place on this very spot.

candles, light, yellow, golden
Candles, Candles Burning Bright

“I celebrate everything. We always had a menorah and a Christmas tree – not for any reason other than we always liked celebrating things.”

Randy Rainbow

Unlike Mr. Rainbow (do you suppose that’s really his name?) my husband and I celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah for more valid reasons. While we recognize the difference in the religious aspects of the two holidays, we’ve learned the importance of tradition and the joy that each of the holidays represents. I like to think of it as having the best of both worlds.

stars, light, night
Oh Holy Night, The Stars Are Brightly Shining

“Every day is a good day. There is something to learn, care and celebrate.”

Amit Ray

My thanks to Amy for the opportunity to explore and enjoy such a positive subject. We celebrate our followers and participants, all of whom help to make Lens-Artists the wonderful community that it is. We also thank you for sharing your stories in response to Ann-Christine’s One Image-One Story challenge last week – a great exercise in understanding the power of photography for presenting ideas. Please link this week’s responses to Amy’s original challenge here, and if you have an extra moment, hop over to visit Terri’s holiday lyrics post. I’ll be leading the challenge right here on Travels and Trifles next week – until then as always please stay safe and be kind.


95 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #177 – Celebrating

  1. Beautiful post and interpretation of celebration, Tina. Really love that first shot of a multi-coloured sky, which I am guessing is a spectacular sunrise. There’s much to celebrate at home with the family and the milestones on our journeys. Enjoy celebrating the different holidays in your household, Tina. Best wishes for the season 🙂

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  4. Hi Tina

    The warmly glowing sky in your photo It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas is wonderful above the pristine snowscape below. And your Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire is so warming. Have you really roasted chestnuts? I wonder what they taste like.

    Here’s something from me for Lens Artist 177 Celebrating. I believe in celebrating the ordinary every day, regardless of what the Hallmark Card calendar decrees for any given season:

    Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Saturday Fun

    Best, Babsje

  5. Snow in Hawaii – well that sure sounds weird. Is it the altitude? I would welcome some snow at this time of year in my locale. Already over 30 degrees c. I like the Walker quote as well. Keep celebrating! Have a wonderful Christmas and safe and Happy New Year from Down Under.

  6. Hi Tina

    One look at your Let it Snow photo and I knew it could only have been Patagonia. What a breathtaking climb you had with your friend. Your Oh Holy Night photo is glorious! My family also celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas PLUS Festivus (for the rest of us) and I adore your candles.

    Here’s my offering of a Great Blue Heron with cause for Celebrating – a hearty meal of the day’s catch:

    Beautiful Great Blue Heron’s Predator-Prey Life and Death Struggle

    Best, Babsje

      • You’re welcome Tina. A dear friend celebrates two of the best holidays with gifts for “Why wait for Christmas” and also “Why wait for your birthday.” Very spontaneous holidays!

  7. Thanks for the inspiration. I like the two challenges this week too. I have to address the Patagonia climb. Good on you. It must truly be a great friend to go on a journey like that. Donna

    • Thanks Donna. Yes a very good friend since relocated to the west coast. We went as 2 couples but the boys had no interest in the hike so we tacked it alone with our guide. A marvelous experience, made better by the sharing.

  8. So nicely done together with the lyrics! A beautiful post – as always, Tina! Wonderful stories, thoughts and images. The Patagonia hike sounds a bit scary – but what a memory! Love especially the Patagonia image and the starry sky. Hope you are having a great season of celebration – and thank you for sending good ideas on postponing celebrations to make things work!

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  10. Beautiful images, as always Tina. Here’s an idea for a whole family get-together; a birthday party one no one’s particular birthday, just somewhere you can all gather and perhaps be outside. Presents for all the little ones, and togetherness for the grown-ups. Cheers!

  11. You’ve combined these two challenges beautifully, with some wonderful images! I love the snowy path in the sunset, and the Patagonia shot, while the fire, candles and stars really set the mood for the holidays 🙂

    • Interestingly I hadn’t specifically thought about the first 2 together but they do indeed pair well, thanks I.J. The hike in Patagonia was exhilarating and the summit glorious. However the wind storm at the top was so strong, and blew in so quickly and unexpectedly, it literally blew my friend over. We had to crawl behind a giant rock for protection, took 3 or 4 quick photographs popping up from behind it, and then beat it back down before the oncoming storm dealt its full wrath. In hindsight that was a moment I will never forget and not only was it the amazing view, but also the wind was a large part of what made it so incredibly memorable.

  12. Beautiful photos, Tina. I’m jealous of that Colorado shot. 🙂 There are so many opportunities to celebrate if we just take time to find them and they don’t have to be big occasions. I like that first quote a lot and I hope Randy Rainbow isn’t a real name!! “Oh, holy night” is one of my favorite Christmas songs so thanks for putting it in my head. I’m surrounded by Christmas decorations and thankful once again for Zoom, as our girls, son-in-law, and sister-in-law won’t be here again this year for Christmas. But my parents will share part of the day with us, so that will be good.


    • Thanks very much Janet. Colorado is one of the few places where I do sunrise shots because the time change means I’m usually up for them. 😊 Like you I’ll be away from family this year but you are so fortunate that your parents will be there. Mine both passed much too soon. They truly loved and honored the holiday though and I have many, many very fond memories of our years with them.

  13. Lovely photos and lovely sentiments Tina! If only the world could be as peaceful as your wonderful words and pictures, we’d be so much happier. That Patagonia hike must have been awesome. Take care.

    • Thanks Anne -truly the natural world here is amazing. We do have our fair share of issues as everyone else does, but our nature is always available as a refuge from them. As for Patagonia – definitely one of my very fondest memories. Would that all of our endeavors would end as well!

    • Thanks very much Frank. I was out one evening learning about using colored lights for effect and happened to turn behind me. The natural sky was far more interesting and indeed, mystical

  14. Great idea to merge the two challenges. I like your take on the lyrics as much as I enjoyed reading Terri’s challenge post this morning and thought it was well put together with one of my favorite holiday songs.
    Also, in the Great Minds Think Alike column, we’d planned to visit my son and his wife in North Carolina during the Christmas holidays. After seeing the potential for airline scheduling fiascos, we are instead planning to visit them in very late January or early February when the holiday travel is behind us.

  15. Beautiful as always.

    Hope you are snug as a bug in a rug in your restored home. Busy times here…….will have Indy family here for about 5 days at Christmas along with the locals.

    Hope you both enjoy this holiday season and a much better 2022!!

  16. What a remarkable hike in Patagonia, Tina! I’m sure you celebrated once you climbed down to terra firma, too! Beautiful thoughts and images (as always) of the meaning behind celebrating the holidays and other milestones. I like your idea of creating your own holidays with family at a later date. Have a wonderful holiday season filled with joy, good food, and good health.

  17. It does snow at the highest elevations in Hawaii, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Haleakala, specifically. If it snowed that much on the beach, they’d freak out, LOL. In Colorado, today, it’s a Red Flag warning day for extreme fire weather conditions. The real change comes overnight, tonight, as temperatures will dive into the teens. Tomorrow, it’ll be in the mid-30s, a thirty-plus degree dropoff from today. No big deal. We’ve seen worst temperature changes.

    I’m not much in a celebratory mood. The calendar has moved so darn fast. Elizabeth, Deborah and Tara had a fantastic year riding, it seems they haven’t had a chance to savor the success. Instead, they, especially Elizabeth, had to deal with Tess’ passing. This is when I would say life is cruel and unfair. But, it’s not all bad. Ginny got remarried, and to a better man. She’s happy, so I’m happy. This is when life is at its best.

    • Life somehow always mixes the good and the bad it seems, doesn’t it ? I suppose that’s why we’re told to “live every day” – we never know what tomorrow will bring.

  18. The songs go well with the photos. I had to laugh at the empty boxes 😂 that’s very clever! And yes, to gatherings at other times of the year. Much easier when the weather is better and the days are longer.

  19. “Joy to the world”, one of my favorite Christmas carols written by the famous German composer Georg Friedrich Händel working in the UK at that time. Your fire is definitely a great symbol for the upcoming Christmas festivities because we need some additional warmth during our cold winter nights here in the northern hemisphere, even when, at least here in Germany, such a fireplace becomes more and more uncommon. I guess, not only because of the necessary work, but also because of the change of mind because of the environmental changes.
    The initial image shows a perfect winter’s day. I like it. It seems like I can feel the cold and smell the resin of the trees as well as a very little but distinct smell of an open fire not that far away.

    • Thanks Andre – funny about the fire. We had a wood-burning fireplace is our previous home but this one has a gas-burning fire. As much as we loved the scent and feel of a real fire, we use this one much more often and it does a nice job of heating our main living area. You’re right about the snowy scene combined with the fire though. Both things really speak to the holidays for me, despite the fact that we now live in the south.

  20. Love these images for Christmas celebration, especially pairing them with the lyric. All are beautifully captured, Tina.
    I love the first one especially. Oh yes, it’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas. 🙂

  21. Thank you for hopping in and sharing your spectacular holiday images for the Christmas song lyric photo challenge, Tina. I celebrate with you as I see these glorious images and read the story behind each one. How wonderful you combine your yuletide traditions and I love those candles! That first pic says it all about looking like Christmas but the Patagonia shot is my favorite for what it symbolizes for you. Oh holy night looks like a Christmas card celebrating the birth of Jesus 2000 years ago!

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