Today I did my first attempt at an interactive eBook. The links below should take you to a pdf of the book. I kept it pretty simple with just a link on each page to jump to the page with the entire tree to search for the symbols of Christmas. I think it is sized for viewing on an iPad so let me know how it works on that or other devices you try it on.
Simple put this idea is to decorate a wreath with old family photos and other objects from your families past. This gives you the opportunity to share with others the stories about your ancestor.
I learned about this idea at a genealogy conference a couple of years ago. I went to a class by Lisa Louise Cooke. She opened my eyes to the possibilities of ways to share family stories. Lisa has put together four videos with detailed step by step instructions on how to make a family history Christmas wreath. You will find the links below. Have fun with this. Use these videos as a starting point and adapt the idea to your own taste situation.
I’m working on my calendar to give this Christmas. It is still in process but I’m getting close. I’ll post about it when I get it finished. I’ve done a calendar many times before and there are lots of ways to do them. Most local copy centers are set up to do a calendar. You supply the photos and they do the rest. There are tons of online sources for calendars too. Here are just a few.
I’ve always made my calendars myself, using Adobe InDesign, so I can’t recommend any of these options but I’m sure that they all make some great calendars. It is fun to add family birthdays and special events to your calendar. I’ve seen calendars where you put the photo of the person on the date too. You can use current family photos or historical photos. This can be a quick project by using one of the services available or a longer project if you do it yourself from scratch. The possibilities are endless but a family calendar is sure to be a big hit.
Wouldn’t a little tree with photos of ancestors be beautiful? Or you could put the ornaments on a full-sized tree in among the other ornaments. This is another conversation starter with the chance to share information about your family member.
Most photo printing places have custom ornament options. Below I have links for RiteAid and Walmart but there are lots more on the web.
If you would like a more hands on approach then the last two links below are a couple of craft ideas for making your own ornaments using photos. Your local craft store probably has more ideas or use your imagination and materials you have on hand to come up with your own creation.
How about putting together a book about your favorite family traditions. If you already have photos that you have taken while doing your traditions then use them. If you don’t have old photos you could take photos this year and match them up with stories and memories from the past. Or you can use photos that were taken around the time of the specific memories about your traditions.
A good way to start a project like this would be to get a binder and a bunch of sheet protectors. Then you can gather photos and memories and organize them in the binder. Have other family members help by sharing their memories of the past.
I think I should put together a book about our annual trip to the mountains to cut down our Christmas tree. I did several scrapbook pages over the years but something that shows the history and favorite memories from certain years would be lots of fun.
This idea could be done in coordination with Gift Idea #19. You could do a book about the history of the tradition and then add to the book as you restart and carry on the old family tradition.
My family has a few old home movies from when I was just a toddler. I bet many families have some old movies that they haven’t seen in a long, long time. I think it would be fun to put together a box or basket with a few home movies along with treats like popcorn and candy. What a great relaxing activity for the evening, even on Christmas day evening. Just get the family together and enjoy the laughs and the memories of days gone by.
If you are really organized, prepare yourself with an audio recorder or paper and pencil to capture the stories and memories that watching your home movies is sure to bring back to the surface.