Monday, September 15, 2008

Christmas Traditions and Family History

This week we are going to share more about our Christmas Traditions so that if there is anything that sparks your interest, you have time to get a few things ready in time for the season. For me there is always decorating the tree and the mantle in my new home. I finally got the Nativity set that I have always wanted (thanks to the extra cash from publishing my scrapbook pages). But for me, I like to share more about my family with my family. I've always shared photos I've scanned and fixed, but in the past 2 years I have a new focus.

Well, for those of you who don't know me yet, there are a few hobbies that I love and that take up my spare time:
#1 Digital Scrapbooking since 2002 (see my son's birthday invite and treat bag in the Oct/Nov 08 Digital Scrapbooking Issue)
#2 Family History (since 1985 - thanks Dad!)
#3 Gardening (since 1994 - I studied Landscape Architecture for a few years in college)
#4 Crochet (since 1986 - thanks Grandma!)

It's really nice that the first two go together so well! My dad is a convert to the church and joined in his early twenties. This has left the work of family history up to him. So at the ripe old age of 9, I started helping him (it's never too early to get your kids involved). I had good eyes and tiny fingers and that allowed me to find the right microfiche in the family history center at the church in Enterprise, Alabama in record time.

Over the years, things have kind of evolved and my Dad and I are always corresponding back and forth about family stories and new finds. Together we've collected about 13,000 names on his side of the family alone. We are currently working on getting their temple work done before we research any more. So that means that I have some time on my hands to record stories, edit photos, and compile things in a way that my children will enjoy them!

Last year I got the idea to make Chapter Marker pages for my family, after reading through Becky Higgins Family History Scrapbooking Book. Scroll down to June 5th to see a little more about it.

Here is what I did...
I made a page with a photo and a summary about that person. When they were born, who their parents are, brothers and sisters, where they grew up, their occupations, who they married, their children, where and when they died (if they've passed away).

This first one is of my Dad. I used his high school Senior photo. The rest of the pages are what go in the album after the chapter marker page. You may have seen the Almost Drafted Page in Lisa's 50 Moments Book. And then I added in a page about my Dad and the old helicopter he used to fly in the Army, after his Chapter Marker Page.

Here you can see the one I made of my Grandfather, my Dad's dad. I added his birth and death year to the bottom of his photo as well.

And this is my Dad's Mom's father - I didn't have a formal portrait of him, so I just used one that I thought was very 'him'.

I gave my sister and her husband an 8x8 scrapbook album with all the pages I completed last year, my brother also received an 8x8 album, and my parents received a 12x12 album filled with pages. This is one of the things that makes Digital Scrapbooking so wonderful! I can make instant copies of all my pages in a variety of sizes.

So what did my family think of their family history scrapbook albums? Well, everyone cried a bit, my sister talked about it in church, my mom showed her copy to every friend and neighbor she could find. What are they getting this year, more family history - I received another huge box of photos from out of my Grandmother's storage unit. I've been working to scan and prepare more photos for their pages. They are definitely getting CD so that each person has a copy of this precious work - just in case my computer dies or my house floods, or...anyway, you get the picture!


Andrea said...

That is such an ambitious gift, full of love and hardwork. I need to get on the fmaily history bandwagon. Now with the new system it should be so much easier. You are amazing. I am excited to read the articles that you suggested. Thanks for your ideas. Your house looks beautiful at Christmas.

Brittany said...

What a great idea! Not only a great thing to pass down to each generation but the memories attached are just priceless! Thanks for the great ideas :)

Annalisa said...

My hubby & I came from two totally different decorating styles, but we found our own traditions for Christmas: crepes on Christmas morning and instead of filling stockings we fill mittens that I made for each of us.

Lindsay & Mike said...

Wow! I am so impressed! My great-aunt wrote down all the memories she had of her parents (my great-grandparents) & grandparents (my great-great grandparents) and gave us all a copy before she died. I love reading those stories, so I know your family will treasure these gifts!

Lorinda said...

Very cool twist on family history. Wow! Do you need any help getting the temple work done for all the names you have? What a great use of your time.

Vanderbeeks Images said...

I will need help once I get the 150+ sealings done in the next few weeks. I have plenty of work to do!