Palmetto Parent 2010 December Issue : Page 27

dressed up! All Story by Chris Worthy ] Photos by Cynthia Pace Fancy holiday outfits make memories and carry on traditions L ittle Charlie Scott probably doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. At only 2½ years old, he can’t quite appreciate his mother’s sen-timentality about his holiday clothes. But one day, when Charlie has his own children — and they wear his heirloom baby togs — he might understand a little of his mother’s excitement. Caroline Scott, Charlie’s mother, said she always had a new outfit for the holidays when she was a little girl. “It was a tradition in our family,” said Scott, who lives in Columbia. And she has continued that tradi-tion with her son. “I couldn’t wait to put cute clothes on him,” she said. “You can only dress them for so long until they have an opinion.” The holiday season is a time for making memories and carrying on family traditions. Part of that heri-tage for many families is choosing just the right holiday outfit for their little ones. For some, it’s a casual ensemble that puts all the cousins in matching attire for a photo in front of the Christmas tree. For others, it’s a finely crafted outfit that becomes a family heirloom. Either choice can mark the occa-sion and serve as a reminder that photos marked “Christmas 2010, age 2” will only be made once. Our cover models, Todd and Nora Wright from Irmo, look cute in their matching outfits from Strasburg Children December 2010 www.palmettoparent.com Palmetto Parent 27

All Dressed Up!

Chris Worthy

<font size=3>Fancy holiday outfits make memories and carry on traditions</font><br /> <br /> Little Charlie Scott probably doesn’t know what all the fuss is about. At only 2½ years old, he can’t quite appreciate his mother’s sentimentality about his holiday clothes. <br /> <br /> But one day, when Charlie has his own children — and they wear his heirloom baby togs — he might understand a little of his mother’s excitement.<br /> <br /> Caroline Scott, Charlie’s mother, said she always had a new outfit for the holidays when she was a little girl.<br /> <br /> “It was a tradition in our family,” said Scott, who lives in Columbia.<br /> <br /> And she has continued that tradition with her son.<br /> <br /> “I couldn’t wait to put cute clothes on him,” she said. “You can only dress them for so long until they have an opinion.”<br /> <br /> The holiday season is a time for making memories and carrying on family traditions. Part of that heritage for many families is choosing just the right holiday outfit for their little ones. For some, it’s a casual ensemble that puts all the cousins in matching attire for a photo in front of the Christmas tree. For others, it’s a finely crafted outfit that becomes a family heirloom. Either choice can mark the occasion and serve as a reminder that photos marked “Christmas 2010, age 2” will only be made once.<br /> <br /> Lana Boyd, store manager for Strasburg Children at the Village at Sandhill, said many of her customers are seeking timeless holiday outfits that will last for generations.<br /> <br /> “A lot of people put theirs in shadow boxes,” Boyd said. “The beauty of it is they get that special outfit and get photographs. They want to get that special milestone. They can keep them like a photograph, really. It keeps that memory alive. It also lets the child feel like that special little person.”<br /> <br /> Boyd said parents are often preserving a moment in time when that special outfit goes in a cedar chest or in a shadow box on the wall.<br /> <br /> “It’s traditional, like when you were growing up and wearing all the little clothes,” she said. “It brings that back for the parents as well. It’s keeping that moment alive forever — beautiful memories of that holiday. As the kids get older, you can relive it. You get to enjoy it and they get to enjoy it. It’s the experience from child to adult. I think it’s important to think about the moment they’re in and to make that a special time to remember. Keep those memories.”<br /> <br /> Arden Korn, owner of Little Lambs and Ivy, a children’s store on Devine Street, said holiday outfits can become an indelible part of family memories.<br /> <br /> “I know from experience,” she said. “My children are grown up and having their own children. It is such a joy to pull their photos out from when they were little. Your memories of your children from when they were little are so precious.”<br /> <br /> Irmo resident Pauline Wright’s children, Nora, 6, and Todd, 3, will have a treasure to behold when they have their own children.<br /> <br /> “At Christmas and birthdays and Easter, we dress them up and have their pictures made,” she said. “I always keep those outfits — not only the outfit but the photo.”<br /> <br /> Wright could one day see her grandchildren in the same clothes.<br /> <br /> “That’s my hope,” she said. “I’m kind of sentimental.”<br /> <br /> Genny Vaught, store manager at Gymboree at Columbiana Centre, said her store caters to those seeking more casual outfits, but often families are looking for something special for the holidays.<br /> <br /> “A lot of moms are excited about getting a Christmas outfit and matching boys and girls,” she said. “That time of year makes people nostalgic. A lot of people do casual outfits and then match mom and dad.”<br /> <br /> Vaught is the mother of four children, Avery, 7, Elliot, 4, Erich, 3, and Millie, 3 months. She does tend to coordinate their holiday outfits, even though they may dress casually.<br /> <br /> “That time of year sparks people to want to remember and make it special,” she said. “It’s the marking of passage of time.”<br /> <br /> And those special Christmas sweaters will be around for a while in the Vaught home.<br /> <br /> “There are certain things you just can’t part with,” she said. <br /> <br /> Michelle Crocker, a Columbia resident, said her daughter Brie, 5, will definitely be dressed in Christmas finery.<br /> <br /> “I think we have every Christmas dress she’s ever worn,” she said. “We go all out for Christmas for Sunday church. We tend to go overboard.”<br /> <br /> Crocker said Brie’s fancy dress, including a hat and gloves, reflects her own excitement about Christmas and her family’s traditions of dressing up and attending church activities to mark the holiday.<br /> <br /> “We celebrate the real reason for Christmas,” she said. “As a child, that was the tradition — to get a new Christmas outfit and wear it to church.”<br /> <br /> And Crocker is holding on to memories of her own child, even as she keeps those special outfits.<br /> <br /> “It will be there if she wants it for her children,” she said. “We didn’t want to get rid of it, for sentimental reasons.”<br /> <br /> Carol Wright, Pauline Wright’s mother-in-law, said losing her own parents in recent years has strengthened her passion for developing traditions with her children and grandchildren. Gathering the family together for their traditional chicken and dumplings, dressing the grandchildren in holiday finery and taking dozens of family photos preserves memories that can be handed down for years to come.<br /> <br /> “It’s a sentimental thing — and being able to pass it down to the next generation,” she said. “It’s so special and such a unique opportunity. The clothes are a part of it, but it’s the being together that’s important.”

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