Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Past—A Family History Scrapbook

For Christmas 1984, my dad gave each of my siblings and me a scrapbook that he put together filled with family photos, copies of newspaper clippings and letters, playbills, cards we had given him and our mom, report cards (yikes), you-name-it. A lot of the photos in each scrapbook were geared toward the recipient but also included a few photos of the other siblings. He also put in photos of himself and our mom, our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and our children. At the end of each scrapbook was a card with a special note from our dad. It’s one of the best presents I’ve ever received. Over the years, I would get my scrapbook out and pour over it, and I continued collecting memorabilia to add to mine.


SCAN2963 Catherine John Helen Missy Andy 1984 adjusted

Here we are Christmas day 1984 about to open our gifts—the wonderful scrapbooks that our dad made for us filled with family memorabilia. You can see how huge they were! From left to right: me, John, Helen, Missy, and Andy.


SCAN2964 John Helen Missy 1984 adjusted

John, Helen, and Missy looking through their scrapbooks.


SCAN2965 Helen 1984 adjusted

Helen looking through her scrapbook.


A page from Helen’s scrapbook with photographs of our mom when she was a kid.


Another page from Helen’s scrapbook. This has graduation photos of our parents and a newspaper article when they graduated from Valdosta State University in the early 1970s—our mom with a degree in nursing (she already had a degree in art) and our dad with a degree in English. Since Helen practiced ballet for 15 years, Dad also included photos of her and a playbill from her recitals.

When I moved to Alaska, I left my scrapbook behind with the intention of one day taking it back with me after one of my visits to Valdosta. Well, that never happened because it was too big to fit in my suitcase. I’m back in Valdosta now, and I look forward to getting my scrapbook out of storage to pour over again! What a wonderful way to preserve family history!



  1. This is such a neat idea. My grandchildren have been asking me, as a genealogical keeper of the families stories and pictures, to share those stories somewhere as I and my husband are getting older. Your dad did a wonderful thing for your family.

    Donna Cator

  2. Catherine PendletonJanuary 1, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Hi Donna. That's wonderful that your grandchildren are asking you for your stories! It makes me happy to hear that the younger generation is interested in family history. I'm so glad my dad made these scrapbooks for us. I love mine.