I’ll admit it: I’m an only child and my family isn’t “big” into Christmas. Sure, we get together every year on Christmas Day, but that’s about it. We don’t get too crazy about gifts; we just get together for a few hours and have a nice dinner, then give gifts in our limited gift-giving ceremony.
Now, contrast that to my husband’s family: it’s literally a Christmas explosion. My mother-in-law’s family gets together for two days (yes, two days!) at a hotel for festivities, games, food, and fun. This includes gift giving for the children with a visit from Santa Claus, gag gifts for the young adults and gag gifts for the older adults. Much of this has been done for my husband’s grandfather, who started the tradition and truly enjoys it each year. At first, this was all a bit much for me. But, I’ve been involved for almost 12 years now, and there is one thing I do enjoy about these gatherings: the memories created.
For the past two years, a new tradition has been started; each year, everyone participates in the family Christmas scrapbook. With many small children (and big children!) gathered, it can be hard to get everyone to focus and maintain a sense of decorum. However, one project is an easy do-it-yourself project that leaves lasting memories—a family Christmas scrapbook. Here’s what they do:
- Bring a stack of 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper (can be colored or plain)
- Bring a coordinating amount of clear sheet protectors
- Bring a 3-ring binder (adjust size for number of people attending)
- Provide a topic for writing/scrapbooking/drawing
- Examples include: favorite Christmas memory, picture of favorite gift, family portrait, definition of Christmas
- Be sure there are markers, crayons, pens, glitter, glue, scissors, and stickers for decorating—be creative!
- Ask everyone to use one sheet of paper and decorate it according to this year’s theme
The best part of this tradition is that the little children can participate, as well as the adults. You don’t have to worry about everyone’s memory or drawing matching; in fact, that’s the fun part—they won’t! Each year, one adult is in charge of gathering the papers and putting the binder together. The family keeps everything at one table, so maintaining control and order is fairly easy.
Why does this Christmas tradition come to mind? Well, earlier this fall, my husband’s grandfather passed away. He had lived a good, fruitful, and long life. On the table in the back of the funeral home were pictures of his family, photos of him in World War II, and the Christmas scrapbook. At that moment, I knew how much the scrapbook had meant to him and how much it meant to the rest of his family.
Start a Christmas scrapbook tradition in your family and add to it each year. It’s great fun to look back at the memories created, changing styles, children growing up, and family Christmas gatherings.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays from Big Dot of Happiness!
Posted by Heather, a Dot-arilla Blogger