Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Happiness

What makes you happy during the holidays? Like others, I enjoy having some of my family around, watching them laugh and hearing them tell stories, share a little gossip and eat like it's their last meal. I also recall memories of loved ones. Some are very close to my heart and mind and others are names and events in my family files. They pop up on my computer like robots. Wouldn't it be nice is we could turn them into human beings for just one moment?

If you were given one minute of conversation with an ancestor, what would you ask? I would quickly ask about their parents, particularly if I'm missing that vital link. You have those in your family tree, don't you? Would you ask something personal? Maybe that is why I treasure old photographs, drawings and paintings of my family. It's a glimpse at that special ancestor in the family file. They become more than robots!

A year ago my granddaughter, age 11, told me I should make ornaments for the Christmas tree out of old family photographs. I wouldn't use the originals but scan and print off ones that could be placed on some kind of ornament. The rest of the story along with photos of the tree is at my blog, You Go Genealogy Girls.

It was a fun project, but even more fun looking at the photographs. I never tire of studying them. Last night my granddaughter was staring at the tree and commented, "He is pudgy." Indeed that ancestor had pudgy cheeks. The other day I was looking at an old uncle on the tree who was born in 1792, but lived long enough to have a photograph taken in about 1870. Then I realized that he knew my 3rd great grandparents. They died long before photography and were undoubtedly too poor to set for a painting. Looking at his eyes I knew that he had seen my past and his mouth had opened and spoke to my ancestors. He had witnessed wars and celebrations. He had lost children and relatives and wept. The Ancestor Tree has brought them alive, just in time to bring Holiday Happiness.

Whatever you are doing, wherever you are going, do it with care and a happy heart. But, always remember your past and realize what your ancestors have given you to enjoy today.

1 comment:

Joan Miller said...

What a lovely post. I especially like the idea of having photos of your ancestors on the Christmas tree.