07 December 2010

A Really Old Christmas Gift

Other than a handful of photos, I don't think my mother has a single thing from her childhood.  For Christmas this year, I am gathering a bunch of things past for a unique gift.

For the main part of the gift, I did a family geneology. was an invaluable resource. By browsing their online archives, I traced two sides of the family back to the early 1600s. You can view and print various birth, marriage and death records, emigration lists, news articles and other glimpes in to your ancestor's lives. Due to privacy legislation in the 1900s, most of this information is pre-1930s. This all will be a huge surprise to my mother who never knew anything beyond her grandparent's names. Then on Etsy I found this blank ancestry chart to fill in:

I also bought some vintage catalogues on Ebay; one for the year my mother was born, one for early adolescence, and one from her years as a parent.  I think it's a hoot to browse through these and see how styles and prices have changed over time.

I wonder if she ever had these toys?

Did she dress this way?

Ebay had a huge selection of old magazines also. I found a couple that I hope represented the teen trends of her time (yep, that's Sonny and Cher circa 1967!)

And finally, I collected some of her favorite books from childhood in old editions at local booksellers.  She always tells stories of playing for hours with paper dolls as a little girl.  I made some gift bags for the books out of this quaint fabric.

It's the kind of gift I like to give.  Something you can't buy at the store, and that was as much fun to make as it was to give. (Okay, more fun.  I guarantee I poured over every catalogue before wrapping them up, and enjoyed the geneology search more than I can say!)


Crafterella said...

What a fun and thoughtful gift! I love that family tree, I bet your Mom will love it.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome gift with so much thought and meaning. :-)

Melissa said...


Cricket said...

What a spectacular present for your mother. Instead of being just a *thing*, I'm sure it will make her heart get all warm and fuzzy looking through those old catalogs.

I'll have to keep this in mind for Christmases future.

Deborah Raymond said...

Now THAT is a gift that anyone would love!