Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Christmas Tradition – My family calendar

As I mentioned before (, I have a large extended family. So keeping track of everyone’s birthdays, anniversaries, etc., can be quite a chore.

Back in 1991 I did something I thought at the time would be a one-shot deal, but which has turned out to be a family tradition. Since then, each year I collect everyone’s updated contact information, and prepare and send everyone a family calendar with all the contact information and everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries.

The fun part of it is that each calendar has a theme. For instance, one year I used everyone’s old school pictures; another time I published a calendar full of out-takes – all those hilariously bad photos we all have in our collection. Two of the most successful ones were a “sisters” calendar when I had all my siblings send me little stories and memories about their sisters. The following year I did the same for “brothers.” That trip down to nostalgia lane was sweet and hilarious at the same time. (I’ll print some of their holiday reminiscences in a future post.)

The 2010 calendar is a special one. During the years 1935 and 1936 my Mom and Dad met, fell in love, and married. My Dad was in the Army in New York at the time, so they wrote increasingly romantic letters to each other.  Dad snuck away to run back to Pennsylvania to see my Mom whenever he could.  I have a shoebox full of those mushy letters my Mom saved from those early years.

So the calendar is full of bits and pieces from those letters and photos from that time, and the months document the progression of their love affair which culminated in their marriage in November 1936.

As I said in my calendar introduction: “I’m fascinated with that time in their lives, when they were young and in love and hadn’t yet become burdened with the strains of marriage and children in their later years. I wish I had known them then.”

Every year I say I’m not going to do the calendar anymore, but then I get another idea for a theme and I’m off again to create …


  1. How wonderful! What a fabulous idea & this years theme is awesome

  2. What a lovely gift for your family! And you do such a gorgeous job putting it all together- you are SO talented!

  3. Thank you-thank you, Stacey and Stephanie. Be sure to send me one of your holiday memories/traditions:

  4. What a fabulous idea! You have more energy than 10
    Felicia, you have been tagged! Come on over to my blog and see.

  5. Hi Chris - I'm not finished yet - next up are my cards and ornaments! I'm not energetic -just insane! ROFLMAO On my way to your blog ...

  6. What a lovely idea! We are indeed kindred spirits - there's just nothing better than treasured pieces of your family's past. I too wish I had known my grandmothers and grandfathers "back then!"


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