visual storyteller

Have a Florida Christmas!

Added on by Monica Herndon.

This was both my first Christmas away from home and my first working Christmas. Shooting all the events leading up to the big day were bittersweet. I loved witnessing other people's joy, but so much wanted to be with my own family. I was able to take a short trip home right before Christmas, but that's for another blog post. 

 Best friends Maria DiMaggio, from Oregon, and Jill Marie Smith, from St. Petersburg, walk through the holiday display in Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg on Sunday November 30th, 2014. DiMaggio and Smith have been best friends for 35 years. DiMaggio surprised Smith with a visit for Smith's 60th birthday. 

Best friends Maria DiMaggio, from Oregon, and Jill Marie Smith, from St. Petersburg, walk through the holiday display in Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg on Sunday November 30th, 2014. DiMaggio and Smith have been best friends for 35 years. DiMaggio surprised Smith with a visit for Smith's 60th birthday. 

 Sandra Peters of St. Petersburg marched in the Santa Parade with girl scout troop 1519 on Saturday December 6th, 2014 in downtown St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation brought 65 tons of snow in for the Snowfest event that followed the 88th annual Santa Parade on Saturday morning. 

Sandra Peters of St. Petersburg marched in the Santa Parade with girl scout troop 1519 on Saturday December 6th, 2014 in downtown St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation brought 65 tons of snow in for the Snowfest event that followed the 88th annual Santa Parade on Saturday morning. 

 Christmas decorations hung on vintage cars in the Santa Parade on Saturday December 6th, 2014 in downtown St. Petersburg.

Christmas decorations hung on vintage cars in the Santa Parade on Saturday December 6th, 2014 in downtown St. Petersburg.

(left) Christmas decorations covered some of the nearly 1,700 bikes in the 27th Annual Jim Rosenkrans Memorial Toy Run in St. Petersburg on Sunday December 7th, 2014. (right) A couple dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus passed by the overpass at the Loews Don Cesar Hotel in St. Pete Beach. 

 Heidi Grimes, of Hungary, adjusts her son, Hunor Miwok's, hair as he sits on a giant dreidel in the St. Petersburg Christmas display on Sunday November 30th, 2014. 

Heidi Grimes, of Hungary, adjusts her son, Hunor Miwok's, hair as he sits on a giant dreidel in the St. Petersburg Christmas display on Sunday November 30th, 2014. 

 Alexandra Deleyska, 7, sleds down a giant snow hill during Snowfest at North Straub Park on Saturday December 6th, 2014. St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation brought 65 tons of snow in for the event that followed the 88th annual Santa Parade on Saturday morning. 

Alexandra Deleyska, 7, sleds down a giant snow hill during Snowfest at North Straub Park on Saturday December 6th, 2014. St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation brought 65 tons of snow in for the event that followed the 88th annual Santa Parade on Saturday morning. 

 Between 75 and 100 volunteers passed out holiday meal bags to around 250 families at Daystar Life Center in St. Petersburg on Saturday December 21st, 2014. According to executive director Jane Trocheck Walker, the Daystar Life Center has been giving out holiday meal bags since 2003.  Students from Sawgrass Lake Elementary and Lakeview Fundamental Elementary decorated the bags for the holiday meal distribution.

Between 75 and 100 volunteers passed out holiday meal bags to around 250 families at Daystar Life Center in St. Petersburg on Saturday December 21st, 2014. According to executive director Jane Trocheck Walker, the Daystar Life Center has been giving out holiday meal bags since 2003. Students from Sawgrass Lake Elementary and Lakeview Fundamental Elementary decorated the bags for the holiday meal distribution.

MONICA HERNDON | Tampa Bay Times