It occurs to me that, when a young person — son or daughter, niece or nephew — moves into a new house or apartment, they might not take with them one of those old photographs of long-gone ancestors your parents passed along or left behind.

This might not seem like an extraordinary idea. No doubt, the handing down of family portraits or photographs is a tradition among many American households — those whose roots go back centuries or those established in this century or the previous one by immigrants.

But, for others, as time passes, as we lose our elders, as lives and families change, the old souls can get lost or tossed, and one day someone asks about those who came before them and you have no visual aid.

So, just a thought for Hanukkah and the Monday before Christmas: If you’re considering a holiday gift this week, you might look around for one of those old photos, get a copy, buy a good frame and frame it yourself, then pass it along. It’s good for everyone to remember the old souls, the ones who lighted the way for us.

5 thoughts on “Holiday gift: Framed photos of ancestors

  1. I’m with you all the way on this, Dan! On December 27th we will celebrate my mother-in-law’s 100th birthday and my daughter and I are assembling a “Book of Bette”, to chronicle her long life with photos going back to her baptism and First Communion, growing up in the Bronx in NYC, studying at Julia Richmond High School, working to support her family after her father lost his business during the Great Depression, through the war years, meeting and marrying Dad (including his MANY precious love letters!) and on and on and on. Sorting through all this has been a joyous journey, but one the whole family can share – no fancy frames required!

    Merry Christmas, Dan – we love your columns and your books. Quite the legacy for YOUR children – no frames required!

    JoAnn Ruther
    Monkton, Maryland

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this thought. Another great column. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I pass on lots of photos and stories – it’s important they don’t die !! “When a person dies, it’s like burning a book – you lose all the stories”. You have probably heard that many times but I think of it often now that I am at the age of losing so many dear friends and family members.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful idea. Not giving mine yet but they can be copied, as you said. A wall is great; did that at former home. Just hung my great grandparents who knew me. We are all part of the immigration experience. We need to hold on to that.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s