First the hard news: the holiday season is here. Not the festive part – seeing friends, celebrating family. The parties! The presents! Not all that, not yet. But the holiday work starts now.

Like that annual holiday photo card. We’ll admit, there have been years when this tradition felt like a waste of time. Who – other than grandparents – really needs a snapshot of our children, or our dogs, cats, ponies, or other adorable dependents? Who really even looks at all the cards (and e-cards) that stack up in December? Who, above all, really cares?

We wonder. Then we take out the camera anyway. For the fact is, we need snapshots of our friends’ children (and their dogs). We look at every card in that December stack (though it might take till mid-January). We, above all, really care. We tuck those cards away in the attic with other boxes from other years. That long chain of photos; that river of images, sweeping us all through time together.

Traditional, yes. Predictable? Not necessarily. To make this early holiday job perhaps a bit more interesting – not that your sofa and front porch haven’t worked great for years! – here are five fresh Nashville locations for your family photograph.

1. Edgehill Polar Bears.

These beloved plaster bears first appeared in the early 1930s outside West End Avenue’s “Polar Bear” frozen custard shop.

(Photo courtesy of blogger Debie Cox, Nashville History )

From the 1940s on, they stood on the lawn of Rev. Zema Hill, a longtime Edgehill fixture, who placed two more of the bears (also throwing snowballs) outside his funeral home. They now occupy a place of honor on Polar Bear Plaza, at the corner of 12th Avenue South and Edgehill. And they’re patient and amiable during photo shoots, as befits real Nashville celebrities.

2. Flowerbed Mural at the Green Pea Salon.

Nothing requires a holiday card to be red and green, or silver and gold. And it’s hard to imagine anything more “Joy To The World” than this exuberant mural in the 12 South neighborhood.

3. Downtown Skyline from the Wedgewood-Houston Bridge.

Share Nashville’s urban energy.

(You could also shoot here at rush hour to prove you haven’t been kidding about the traffic.)

4. Angel Wings in the Gulch.

Artist Kelsey Montague launched her “What Lifts You” campaign to explore how individuals interact with public art that invites them in then seeks a social media response. She’s installed her murals in Australia, New Zealand, and New York, among others. And in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood, on 11th Avenue South. Read more about Kelsey’s work here.

This spot also works if your groove is more “Archangel.”

5. Berry Hill Legends.

In 2012, artist Scott Guion, a Katrina-era New Orleans transplant, began to paint music icons on the fences around the House of Blues Studios on East Iris Drive. Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, George Jones, the Beatles, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Flatt & Scruggs; all the greats. Choose a legend who shared your passion.

Or choose by aspiration.

We can’t wait to see your photos in our holiday stack. Happy snapping!

Read more about Nashville’s vibrant and fast-growing mural community here, and explore the Nashville Walls Project here.