The holiday season of December always has me in a panic. There are parties to attend, presents to buy and wrap, service projects I want to do, and let’s not forget the cleaning and baking! If you are struggling too, here are some fun suggestions to incorporate family history into your hectic holiday!
Family History and Baking
My Grandma Bowser had a special raisin cookie recipe she made for her family. They were a perfect “old fashioned” cookie. When I was a child, my mother continued the tradition by making them and telling us why these were Dad’s favorite.
This holiday season, I will pull out the old recipe and make them with my children. Whether it is a cookie recipe or a main dish, I am sure your family has a story to go with food stuff. While planning and executing your holiday baking and cooking, invite the children in to help and talk about their family history in the kitchen.
Family History and Cleaning
Okay, not everyone likes cleaning and our family is no exception. However, the kids do seem a bit more motivated when there is music playing in the background. Our taste in music varies, but part of our family history includes the albums their grandma made with her brothers and sisters when they had a gospel band!
The albums have been turned into CDs now, and we have a copy. I pop that CD in and talk to the kids about how the Cole Family had a gospel band. “Grandma played the bass guitar!” I say. The Cole family tradition continued at home in the evenings, and through the years at each family gathering, as they sat around and sang the old gospel hymns together.
There are many stories attached to the songs of our past. If you aren’t lucky enough to have had a band in the family, you might consider creating a special playlist using Spotify. Spotify is a free, online music app that will allow you to create a playlist. You can add songs that have a family history meaning. Who knows, maybe your new playlist will become a seasonal family tradition spanning the generations!
Family History and Parties
Get out the photo albums and take them with you to your family parties! At our Thanksgiving gathering, I brought the family albums and gathered the grand-kids around. Not all of them were interested, but my niece Chloe was particularly inquisitive about her 2nd great grandma, Chloe Yoakum Walls, whom she is named after. Sharing pictures is the perfect way to encourage story telling that builds a family history heritage.
Here’s another way to add a little family history flare to your holiday parties…Did your mother, grandfather, or favorite uncle have a special piece of clothing or accessory they enjoyed wearing each holiday?
When I was a teenager, my mother shared with me her “hair lights.” In her twenties, she LOVED wearing wigs. For a special holiday party, my father made her a set of the teeny, tiny, battery operated lights she put in her hair! Those lights were brought out again for me and made into a fun Christmas tree sweater. Wearing the “hair lights” is one of my favorite Christmas memories.
Family History and Service
There are so many ways to serve during the holidays. Working in a soup kitchen or food pantry, providing music and song to the homebound, buying gifts for children in need, and the list goes on and on. If you participated in a service project during the holidays as a child, consider recreating one of those opportunities for your family now. Could you even travel to the same food pantry you served in so many years ago?
Remember, it is never to late to start a family tradition. You can create family history by implementing a service opportunity this year. To find ways to serve in your local area, go to JustServe.org.
Family History and Your Ideas
I am sure many of you have wonderful ideas for implementing family history to your holiday season activities. We would love to hear your thoughts and special stories. Please feel free to share by leaving a comment below!