During the holidays, long-standing traditions link today’s families with their heritage. Personalize your holiday-themed scrapbook pages by using family customs to inspire your choice of embellishments, motifs and page titles. Ask relatives about their favorite traditions, or research your ethnic background to uncover ideas like these:
- If you have German ancestors, consider a Christmas tree motif. Germans began the Christmas-tree tradition in the 16th century.
- Poinsettia-printed paper could depict Mexican ancestry. The south-of-the-border bloom has become a universal Christmas symbol since first appearing in the United States during the 18th century.
- In Ukraine, a family’s youngest child must spot the evening star before the holiday feast can begin. A bright star on a midnight blue scrapbook page shows this tradition.
- The Nativity is the primary Christmas decoration in Central America, South America and southern Europe.
- Paper piece a Yule log, a Norwegian custom, if you have Scandinavian ancestry.
- African-Americans might decorate their pages with the symbols of the seven-day holiday Kwanzaa.
- The dreidel and the menorah represent Hanukkah.
- A Sinck Tuck page heading and a penguin or dancing Eskimo motif are cute ways to illustrate the winter festival Sinck Tuck, celebrated by Eskimos in northern Canada.
- “Peace of Christmas,” the name of a radio show broadcast each year in Finland, would be an excellent heading for a page depicting roots in that country.
- Title your page with a holiday greeting native to your ancestral land, such as God Jul from Sweden, Mexico’s Feliz Navidad or the French Joyeux Noel.
- Let’s say a letter calls a Greek ancestor a kallikantzarosa naughty goblin whose antics take place during the 12 days of Christmas. Use journaling and embellishments to highlight your ancestor’s mischievous character.
Patti Swoboda is the creator of Page Flippers, an award-winning scrapbook product.