Tuesday, December 26, 2006


(Old Tradition of All Grandkids having Photo Taken wearing Santa Hats)

When our family gathered for the Thanksgiving celebration, my sister Kitty suggested that we give our parents a unique Christmas gift this year. It was her brilliant idea that each of us write about a family memory and present it to Mom and Dad at Christmas. Afterwards, Kit would make a scrapbook that included each one.

It was not quite what I expected. Yet the result was nothing less than astounding. The essays, the memories, the love letters were equally moving and magical. From the youngest age seven, to me the oldest (I will never tell) each one was a touching and often funny singular perspective on life as a member of our clan. Childhood memories intertwined with those more recent and those of the in-laws and their observations.

We put the written pages in the middle of the family room and mixed them up. Then each of us choose one and read it aloud. Then we made Mom and Dad guess who wrote it.

I have several favorites. My niece absolutely blew us away with her creativity.

"One in a magical Kingdom in far away Tennessee lived a King with his Fair Queen....". It was simply brilliant as well as fun and entertaining.

Her mother wrote a sweet and poignant piece about a Christmas angel that her family had on the top of the tree for as long as she could remember. They nicknamed the heavenly plastic being "Grace".

Imagine her surprise when she first entered our household for Christmas so long ago and there on top of our tree was a replica of Grace.

She knew she had found the right family.

I loved that.

She even had pictures!!

My brother Pat read his own (sudden case of shyness over took one of the children) and finished it with this sign off "Pat Pat the Water Rat". I almost burst out in tears remembering my Dad singing that when Pat was very young and it was almost impossible to get him to come out of the swimming pool. I had not heard it nor thought about it in a long long time.

Obviously it was a huge success and my sister deserves all the credit. It is assumed, with out discussion, that this will become a family tradition for every year to follow.


Anonymous said...

What a FANTASTIC idea! And to know those will be added to a scrapbook makes it even more special. More families should do things like that.


lisa :-] said...

Wonderful! That must have been SUCH a good time. But then, I know your parents are very special people...

Cynthia said...

That is wonderful! I just may have to bogart this idea.

FuzzyJefe said...

I've been trying to find ways to make Christmas more meaningful. After all, its more about the memories than the quantity of gifts. You've just made the memories part of the giving!

Ryan said...

This isn't going to sound all that oringinal... but your idea about having everyone write something was a GREAT idea.

Would you mind if I borrowed your idea?

Therapy Doc said...

It's an old family therapy technique, too.

Someone in your family have the but?

MyMaracas said...

I agree with everyone else -- this is a fabulous idea. Think how these scrapbooks will be cherished, more so with every passing year. Thanks for sharing!