“Family History—Holiday Style,” Ensign, Dec. 1991, 57
We have preserved family holiday traditions and history in our family holiday book. It is divided into the following sections:
Family stories. This includes stories dating back as far as the 1800s. We found them in journals, family histories, and interviews with our grandparents. We also added favorite short stories such as “The Night before Christmas” and “A Christmas Carol,” and our own childhood memories of special Christmas experiences.
Family traditions. Traditions unique to our family are recorded here, such as dropping off a package from “Santa” to a needy family, reading the Christmas story late at night on Christmas Eve, and giving each child one new tree ornament every year.
Favorite recipes. Aunt Margaret’s poppy seed cake, a recipe handed down from a German grandmother; sugar cookies for the children to decorate; and Grandma Ruby’s fudge are holiday favorites we included. We also dug through our grandmothers’ recipe boxes to find and recreate recipes our ancestors made.
Craft ideas. Everyone has gathered patterns for teddy bears, centerpieces, gifts, and ornaments special to our family. The ideas here range from complicated knitting patterns to instructions for making paper chains.
Scrapbook. This section includes printed programs from the time my father narrated the Christmas story in church, programs from plays and ballet recitals, special Christmas cards, photographs, and other reminders of events we have attended during the past holiday seasons.
Our holiday book keeps traditions alive and assures that no treasured recipes, ideas, or memorabilia are lost. The children look forward to perusing its pages each year, and the older relatives love adding their memories to it. Our holiday book is a priceless family history; we hope it will inspire future generations to carry on the traditions we’ve recorded.—Sherri Ann Haab, Provo, Utah