Friday, December 11, 2015

Holiday Heirlooms Can Help Connect Your Family To Their History

When I was about 8 years old, and my little sister was about 6, my Mom helped us create a little salt dough nativity set for my Matriarchal Grandparents Darrel and Eila Dana.  We carefully crafted the pieces and painted them and sealed them with shellac.  We even made a card with our Shrinky Dinks and signed our names.  I was surprised how much Grandma loved that nativity.  It was always displayed in a place of honor at Christmas time.  When she passed, my Mother saved them for me.  They are a sweet reminder of my Grandmother and the love she had for me.  
Another holiday heirloom in our home is a beautiful Christmas ornament that was smocked by my Patriarchal Grandmother Hortense Carpenter.  She was always the consummate homemaker with lavish parties and great food and a whole room of fabric she used to create beautiful things.  She had taken a smocking class in the late 1970s and that Christmas she invited each of her grandchildren to take home an ornament from her tree.  She was surprised when I chose this ornament she had made because she didn't think it was her best work.  But even at that young age, I knew and heirloom when I saw one.  I think she was pleased that I took it and she knew I would treasure it and pass it down in my own family.

Each year when we get out the Christmas decorations, I love to tell my kids about the wonderful ladies that my Grandmothers were and how much they loved me.  I love to think about them as I see these things in my home and honoring them has become part of my holiday season.  Do you have any holiday heirlooms that you use during this time of the year?  Maybe a Menorah that has been passed down, or some beautiful dishes?  Be sure you are telling the stories of these people and helping the next generation of your family feel the appreciation you have for those who have made your family what it is today.

We wish you the happiest of holidays with you and yours.  Thank you for being part of our conversation this year.  We really appreciate you and look forward to spending many more years celebrating our family histories together. 

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