Friday, December 2, 2011

The Annual Christmas Letter - My gift to My Children

On my wedding day, my mom gave me a binder filled with laminated copies of all of the family Christmas letters going back to 1968 - their first Christmas together.  I read all of the letters and realized that these letters are a journal of our family's life together.  I love pulling out the binder and rereading them.  My favorites are the year I was born, the year I was married, the years my children joined our big family.  I soon realized that documenting my family is going to be very important to me and the biggest gift I am going to give my children.  I wanted to follow the tradition my mother started and I also started writing a Christmas letter the first year.  The first few years may have been a little boring to others.  The purpose of my Christmas letter is to document my family's year.  Filling in all of our friends and families on our activities is just a bonus.  

I don't know why I can't turn this but here is the page for 2010.
I keep a Family Journal of what we do each year.  It's nothing fancy, just a small dimestore (love that word!) notebook.  About once a month, I write down things we did that month.  I also add the kids milestones, birthday gifts given and received, etc.  I also love scrapbooking.  I mentioned earlier the family scrapbook with one page for each year.  I love this book and I love watching the kids grow in one location and not having to thumb through lots of albums.  The reason I started the Family Journal was so I could easily update the Family Album each September (our anniversary).  I also keep a shoebox under my bed for ticket stubs, programs, etc. to add to the family album page.  Each child has a really nice First Year Scrapbook.  Laci has three now for her first three years.  Then Calvin was born.  After his first year album, I am a little burned out on scrapbooking.  I hope I get back to it.  I still print out the pictures periodically and file them in envelopes.  The extra church offering envelopes are great for this purpose.  I can write the activities and stories on the envelope and back of the pictures.  Later, I can easily go back and put the pictures in scrapbooks.  I have thought about digital scrapbooking but I am not quite there yet for the kids.  I have made several digital scrapbooks for other occasions.  I like to use the kids artwork and crafts as the backgrounds for the scrapbook.  I keep several pictures and date them so I can add them to the appropriate pages.  Maybe when the kids get older, I will go to the digital albums. :)

I still don't know why I can't turn it.
This is the first year I did.  Not a lot of detail yet.

I really like this page of Laci's.  It has both her crafts
and all of the valentines she got that year in school.

One of the greatest gifts I can give to our children is memories and time spent together.  Unfortunately, memories fade.  So my mission is to capture them and keep them forever.  I look forward to presenting our family history to our children on their wedding days - the day their own families begin. 

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