Holiday RelatedSpecial Events

2014 Breakfast with Santa | Chestnut Ridge, Blairsville PA

By November 4, 2014 One Comment

oh boy, oh boy, oh boy…’s almost that time again!!!! It’s almost Breakfast with Santa time!!!

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Last year was such a huge success…and I expect this year to be just the same! AND…..I’m proud to say I photographed roughly 140  children. *GULP*……but I made it and without spiking my eggnog! ! HAHAHA!!! One of the things I love most about the Breakfast with Santa at Chestnut ridge (besides all the fun activities like cookie decorating, etc.) you get a FREE digital file of your child on Santa’s lap…and the parents are ALLOWED to snap their own photos. I won’t be giving you the dirty eye ball when you pull out your cell phone or camera…’s encouraged! Yes, I will be taking one as well that we you can download when you get home…..but you are also permitted to take your own! Most places don’t allow you to do that!!

Here’s an example of last year’s:



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And…..I’ve had many emails and message asking me if we are going to do the Toy Drive again this year and the answer is a big fat YES YES YES!! If you’ve been attending Breakfast with Santa the past several years, you know we do VOLUNTARY toy drive.

I shared this same story with you last several years……

When I was about Mallory’s age, I remember standing in line at one of the local churches. It was cold and we could see our breath…..and I remember watching other Mom’s carrying out boxes. My mom was about 23 at the time with an 8 year old and a 4 year old…and since my dad was working she had no one to watch us while she “ran her errands”. On this particular day, my sister and I watched as Mom picked up a box of toys that had been donated by complete strangers and given to the local churches for families like ours..needy families! My dad worked countless hours to earn a paycheck to live in a trailer (that had seen better days) and to drive beat up cars. There were no more pennies to pinch for the holidays, my Mom had pinched them as far as they could possibly be pinched. At the time, I never worried about things like that…honestly, at the time I had no clue what my parents were going thru but looking back, it was so obvious. That was the year I got a Strawberry Short Cake suitcase filled with Barbie dolls and a Rainbow Bright doll.

I’m not sure why THAT particular memory sticks…….and most people would be insanely embarrassed. Not me. I figure that I remember it to make me humble and to constant reminder of how I see the world. I choose to believe that there are GOOD people out there.  Sure, eventually our family got out of the hard times we were experiencing with some hard work and determination but I’ll never forget where I came from….and the COMPLETE strangers out there who were willing to make our Christmas a little brighter.  Trust me, it didn’t go unnoticed! Often times when I post to Facebook about some act of kindness I’ve witnessed, lots of people are so quick to jump on the “ohh, wow, you mean there are still honest, kind people out there?”. My answer is YES…..there are. You just have to learn to see it!

This year we want to do the same as last year. We want to spread the love and do something GOOD for the families that were just like mine. But I need your help to get the word out. If you will be coming to Breakfast with Santa on December 6th at Chestnut Ridge  AND you bring along an unused, unopened toy to be donated to Toys for Tots, that will be distributed in your community, your name will be entered into drawing for a chance to win a complimentary gift certificate with me to be used towards a family session (with ALL digital files-a $950 value). The more toys you bring, the more chances you get! *please make note: the session must be scheduled and used before May 30th 2015.

This is just a small sample of what you guys brought last year!


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This toy drive means so much more to me than just a pile of unwrapped, unused toys, it hits a special place in my heart because I was on the other end of this toy drive once and it’s so heart warming to know that despite all the bad we see in the world….there are a million good that drown that out. Sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking the time out of your busy lives to purchase a toy and then bring it with you. Last yaer, we had over 150 toys and some of you brought multiple toys (one woman brought….30!!!) ….and I just know that you helped brighten up someone’s holidays….trust me, I know! <3

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We will be drawing the winner that day at the end of the event…but you DON’T need to be present to win! Please keep in mind, this is NOT a requirement to attend, but for those of you who do bring a donated toy, you could be leaving with a certificate for some pretty kick butt photos and be helping out some kids in need.


Last year’s winner was Beth McElhaney and here was their shoot:

**PLEASE NOTE: We will not be handing out 5×7 printed images this year. Instead, after the event, we will give you the website to which you can go to and download the digital file(s), save them directly onto your computer and share them with friends and family. And no…they will not be watermarked- they are yours to use as you see fit and reproduce- and YES it does include the printing rights! <3 AND as always, you are welcomed to bring along your own camera for a few photos of your own! 


See you on December 6th!!!!


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