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Friday, December 18, 2015

Keeper of the Past

As you age and enter that lovely winter era of life, when the aches increase along with the wrinkles and white hair, believe it or not there are some perks. One of those perks, in my opinion, is that you become the keeper of your family's history.  You are called upon to remember traditions, to remember family members long gone, to keep the family's history from slipping away into oblivion, to pass it on to the next generation.  The Christmas season is the perfect time to step up and fulfill this responsibility.  Reminiscing is delightful, but also, as you can imagine, a bit bittersweet.

As our parents died, Bob and I inherited a few items from each family.  One of those items was a collection of Christmas ornaments.  A few years ago, I decided to dedicate a special tree as the "vintage tree". This tree would be where we placed the ornaments from our parents' trees.

As we hung the old ornaments, tender memories of Christmas's past were shared between us.  Our girls, however, were grown and were not around when we decorated this tree, so they missed many of the stories.  So, this year, inspired by a Pinterest post I had seen, I added vintage family photos to the tree.  I was hoping these photos of long ago family members, some of whom they never met or even heard of, would inspire the telling of Christmas's past and loved traditions, and the stories of beloved relatives.

Now, along side some of our favorite ornaments from our childhoods, there are photos of some of our favorite people.

And even our beloved pets:

I'm hoping these photos will trigger fresh conversations about our family, rekindle dormant memories, and encourage my girls to cherish that constant, unquestioning love that only comes from family.

Enjoy the blessings of the season!  I'd love to hear about any new traditions you are starting.  What ways do you try to honor your family's past?