December 16, 2013
Some holiday traditions are born with each new child. Others are passed down through the generations. Sometimes, we have forgotten why we do the things we do, but we still do them. Probably, because Great-Grandma Isabella showed us how.
Mom had three tree ornaments that were always the last to go on the tree. When my brother and sister and I started having trees of our own, Mom gave each of us one of the ornaments. We treasure them.
When she passed on these heirlooms, you could tell she had thought about the exact one she wanted each of us to have. There was great sentimental value to each gift, and each gift was given with great love. But part of the gift was missing. She never told us the significance of the ornaments, and we weren’t that interested to ask-- hindsight and all of that. Mom’s been gone over twenty years, and for over twenty years, I’ve put my ornament on the tree—always last, always in a place for all to see.
I keep urging everyone to write down the family stories, yet I haven’t taken my own advice. The holidays are here. Families are getting together. This is the perfect time to record the stories as they are told. The process has become so easy with a simple digital recorder, audio or video. Imagine playing these recordings years from now and introducing Grandma and Grandpa to a new generation. You can check out the “Tell Me a Story" kit from Midwest Genealogy Center to help you.
My children have their own trees, and I have given them ornaments from our family tree. This year I will write the stories. Who gave it to them? How the ornament looks? When was it given? Where were we then? Why? This last question is easy to answer, out of love.
Midwest Genealogy Center