A Homemade Christmas

I realize that Christmas has come and gone – but I wanted to share with you the gifts that I made for each of my girls:  my two daughters and my soon-to-be daughter in law.  Our family Christmas traditions are many and run deep – filled with lots of routines and favorite recipes.  I decided that I would create a scrapbook that preserved the top ten recipes that I make each year between Thanksgiving and New Years.

Each two page spread included the title of the recipe – the actual recipe itself written on a 3×5 index card and placed in a plastic sleeve that can be removed from the book and replaced – a photograph from years past that depicted our family celebrating the holidays – and a note that briefly told the background of certain traditions.

The project was more labor intensive than I had planned – but fortunately I started early enough that it did not prove too stressful to complete in time for Christmas morning.  I hand wrote each recipe (x3), created page layouts (x3), copied pictures (x3), and added decorative elements (x3).

In the end, I think the books were well-received and I hope that they will be used in years to come.

While we will most likely always have the Italian Christmas Eve vigil at our house (traditionally the feast of seven fishes but done Totoro style includes baked salmon – boiled shrimp – and plenty of snow crab) – my eldest has already claimed that Christmas day will be spent at her house so the grandbaby can enjoy her Santa gifts.  I don’t blame her for wanting to adopt a new tradition – but I am a bit melancholy that our days of early Christmas morning risings accompanied with squeals of surprised glee are officially over.  It was a wonder 25 years of fond family memories.


  • bermudaonion

    I love the scrapbooks and know they will be treasured in years to come. Maybe your daughter will invite you to spend the night on Christmas Eve so you can still hear those squeals.

  • Kaye

    Sometimes it's a little sad to leave the old traditions behind but I can see why your daughter wants to start her own traditions with her child. Your scrapbooks are such a lovely idea. I'm sure they will be treasured.

    Happy New Year to you and yours, Molly!

  • Anonymous

    That is just lovely, Molly! And I'm sure each of those books will be treasured more than you will ever know. Such a good idea. You are definitely a creative person. Love it.

  • Vivienne

    OMG! I love this so much. It is beautiful and such a fantastic idea. I wish I was one of your daughter in laws to receive such a precious gift.

    Love the new look to the blog too!

  • Catherine Ensley

    Wonderful scrapbooks! I'm sure they will be cherished.

    Funny thing, when my kids were growing up, we always had Christmas at home in Colfax. I missed having Christmas with my family of origin in Auburn.

    Now, the kids are grown and, like you, I miss having Christmas with my kids in Colfax. Memories about my own childhood Christmases are long gone.

    Fortunately, my kids are still with us, grownup and with kids of their own. Hubbie's and my big Christmas celebration is now on Christmas eve, when we are ALL together. Christmas morning is very quiet. Hubbie and I hop in the car and go visit our kids' families.

    Best wishes for your coming year. I'm excited to read about what you're up to.

  • Kathleen

    What a wonderful gift idea. I will pass on to my sister who is a wonderful cook and really into scrapbooking. I also love to scrapbook but haven't taken the time to do much of it lately. Maybe this post will inspire me???

  • Anonymous

    What an inspiration, Molly.

    I made cookbooks for both of my girls from when they were little, handwriting recipes and anecdotes about the recipes, where they came from, etc. This was long before scrap booking, word processing, computers, and so on. The idea was to give them recipes that might otherwise have been lost. I'm sensitive to this because my maternal grandmother didn't read or write and some of her recipes were, indeed, lost. The girls each got the books when they left home and still use them, but, this is such a lovely idea I may borrow from you next year just for Christmas and include my two nieces.

  • (Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea

    These are just beautiful keepsakes. It shows how talented you are. Holiday tradition changes are difficult to adjust to, at least initially. In the late 80's when my parents died, I disliked the holidays for many many years, but now, we have new traditions.

    Glad to see you back blogging Molly.

  • Staci

    I think that was a fantastic Christmas gift. I just downloaded Elements 10 and am hoping to really get into digital scrapbooking this year. I would love to make something similar for both of my boys. My oldest was married in August and he loves to cook!!

  • Michelle Shannon

    Those are beautiful, Molly! What a very special present – one that will be cherished for a long time!

    I know how difficult it is to see the end of certain traditions, but perhaps you can participate in the creation of new ones with the your granddaughter. Good luck!

  • Trish

    This is a beautiful idea and so gorgeous!! I've been trying to create a family recipe book for ages but maybe I'll simplify and just include the holiday favorites.

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