Friday, December 18, 2009

The Carnival's In Town


Smile For The Camera
15 December 2009

My greatest gift this year is you. Yes, you! You who read Shades and you who participate in Smile For The Camera. You are the best group of people with whom I have ever been associated. I wish you all GeneaFortune this wonderful Christmas, Hannukah, Holiday time!

While Smiling For The Camera we have visited Christmas Past and the memories your photographs have evoked are bitter sweet. It is evident that the gifts you have valued the most don't necessarily possess a monetary value. But you already knew that.

Also, welcome to Smile For The Camera, all the participants of Geneabloggers' Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, Day 10, The Gift. Both groups have outdone themselves presenting a very interesting and varied group of photographs depicting what a Christmas Gift means to you.

Let's open the cover of this edition of Smile For The Camera's Christmas album of "Gifts" and get our ticket punched.

He loved to fish, he loved the outdoors, and he loved Jello. Grace of My Family Roots Run Deep remembers the gift of her brother-in-law Darryl. She tells us that as she prepares for the holidays today Christmas past is always with her.

Jennifer Shaw of ShawGenealogy experiences "one block" of separation after a family's 30 year search. Ancestry was the catalyst and the reward was photographic treasure. Jen, what an amazing story!

This is a lovely group of photographs and a heart-warming lesson from Sheri Fenley, The Educated Genealogist. Sheri says, "I don't know about you, but my boys did not come with instructions or operator manuals. So yeah, it took me a few years to find a way to get them to adulthood alive." She practiced the Three C's. A lesson for us all.

Janet Iles recalls gifts of Genealogy, given and received as well as gift opening traditions in the family at Janet the researcher. I love the woman wearing glasses photograph of Janet in 1973.

Susan C. Pentico, our friend Susi, has learned that she has done something no other family member appears to have accomplished in many generations, if ever, at Susi's Chatty Performances on Genealogy. Congratulations, what a wonderful gift!

Amir Dekel of I Dream of Genea(logy), shares the two oldest family photos I have from my wife's side of the family and mine. Each time we share a family photograph online it acts as a beacon for those who are searching. Thank you Amir, for this gift.

Nancy Messier of My Ancestors and Me writes, "Remember the excitement you felt as a child on Christmas morning when you opened a box and found a gift that was perfect? Perhaps it was something you hadn't thought about before, but when you saw it, you knew it was just what you'd always wanted. And it was the best gift." One of those gifts is the reunion photograph in her Best Gifts post. The photograph is simply amazing! I've looked at it a dozen times and still found something new each time. Oh, and fM loves your avatar with the glasses!

Leah the author of The Internet Genealogist, made it her goal to participate in a Carnival before 2010, and she chose Smile's Gift Edition. Thank you, Leah for sharing this great photograph and story! I must say, we have a plethora of women wearing glasses in this edition. Well, little women. Take a look!

Apple has the photographs to attest to the fact that "Sometimes it is the smallest things that leave the biggest memory." I am such a fan of Apple and her blog, Apple's Tree. She is the most centered person I know. She instinctively knows what is most important in life. The photographs are a wonderful memory, Apple.

What is the gift? The child, the talent, or the parent? You be the judge in Renate Sanders' proud post on her blog, Into The Light. Absolutely beautiful! If you have a problem viewing the video please use this link.

Karen Stewart posts a beautiful photograph of her maternal grandmother at Tangles as her first submission to Smile for the camera. Karen tells us, "She taught me so much and I still miss her . . ." A gift - the woman and the photograph.

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith Tells Ancestor Stories. And he's told this one with a lovely photograph of a gift named Arrion. Dr. Bill says, "Preservation and interpretation of your ancestor stories will occur most effectively if each of us use multiple approaches to telling our ancestor stories to our families and interested others. 13 Ways To Tell Your Ancestor Stories is Dr. Smith's book on the subject. Check It Out!

Joan Hill is a wordsmith, there is no question. She paints pictures with words and grabs your attention with everything she writes. Her photograph of "the letters of her Uncle Ralph" set the stage at Roots'n'Leaves, but she completes the picture with her own words. I believe her Uncle Ralph did write her "more’n million handwritten words, on thousands of pages." A fan-tastic story.

Ruth Himan has The GIFT and one of the most creative blog names yet, Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me. I think you're correct Ruth, it's a calling and it's not for everyone. But baby, you've got it!

Leslie Ann of Ancestors Live Here remembers the game of Clue, Split Level Aggravation, and a talking dog. Sparky, the dog, and Leslie Ann, the author, are seen in 1975 and now. Why Leslie Ann, you and Sparky haven't changed a bit!

Dorene from Ohio, the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay, describes her gift as, "The gift my family has given me is the wonderful memories of Christmases past." Doreen's post is a gift in itself; a chronicle of Christmas tradition. Loved the photographs, Doreen. A must see!

Tina Sansone asks and answers, "isn't technology wonderful" with a new technology photograph at Gtownma's Genealogy. This was Tina's first look at her Grandbaby. As you all know, Tina's little darling has arrived and on Facebook Tina mentions technology again; "I love web cams. Just watched my new Grandbaby eat in Florida and I am in TN." We are truly blessed that we are living in this wonderful age of technology.

John Newmark tells us that personal narrative isn't always an accurate source of information, on his blog Transylvania Dutch. So in this submission John has photographic proof of something he thought started later in his life. It is a wonderful photograph of John and an equally interesting lesson in the intersection of religion and family history. I personally learned so much from this post. Li Chaim!

There comes a time in the course of every Carnival host's life when good sense dictates they just keep quiet, the post is that powerful. Such is the case with the submission by Elizabeth O'Neil of Little Bytes of Life. Nothing I could say could do this story and its photographs justice. You must read Elizabeth's spirit of Christmas.

I love Susan Kitchens, but then who doesn't? She never does anything by half measures. She is an all or nothing kind of woman. That is clearly demonstrated in her submission to Smile, "A gift in my email" at Family Oral History Using Digital Tools. A single photograph in her email led Susan on a quest for information about Grandma Joe; and Susan and Grandma Joe do not disappoint.

From commitment to coonskin caps, Randy Seaver delivers in this submission to Smile. He has given us the most romantic of Christmas gifts in Day 15 at Geneamusings. (Oh, and he looks so cute in his coonskin cap.) Now I don't know about the rest of you, but for me the sexiest men are those who have no problem saying they love their wives. Randy is the sexiest man in this Carnival. Linda, you are one lucky woman.

The Toboggan A Gift From The First North Americans

The Toboggan "was a gift from my parents and a gift from the first North Americans,” says Evelyn Yvonne Theriault author of A Canadian Family. This is a beautiful Canadian Sport Series 1908 postcard from Evelyn's private collection. "I’m always on the lookout for images like these because I have so few family photographs to share."

Missy Corley at Bayside Blog tells us this is her first carnival submission ever, and we're so glad she started with Smile! Fond Christmas photographs and memories, Missy says "You know you’re growing up when your pjs and toys deserve their own luggage." Check out the little world traveler.

Carol presents, "A family tradition, a gift that keeps on giving" submitted at Reflections From the Fence. The reading is passed down and perfected. Don't you just love Christmas? Of course you do.

Ruth Stephens presents a photo essay of her family's Generations; from "Kids" to Great-Great Grandkid" at Bluebonnet Country Genealogy. Quite a statement of family!

Kay Bauman tells us that "even as a child, I knew the importance of keeping certain things. . . Every time I see it I’m reminded of that Christmas when I was 8 years old." This photograph truly captures a moment in time and Kay's beautiful writing captures the mood at Kay B's Place.

Melody Lassalle presents Dolls That Did Something posted at The Research Journal. What a doll is right. They just don't make them like that anymore. Go look. Do you remember her?

Cyndi Beane Henry of Mountain Genealogists posts a very special tribute to the person she considers her family's "gift." "My special gift is my wonderful sister, Eydie. She has been a joy beyond compare since the day she was born! Today she is the 'Rock' upon which our family stands firm." Beautiful!

How Julie Cahill Tarr's submission made me smile. I remember the hours I spent in line to help Santa with this very popular Christmas Gift. Well, Julie's father did the same in A Christmas Gift at GenBlog. You will all recognize this photograph regardless of which end of the gift you held.

In The Gift of Bathrobes, Midge Frazel of Granite in My Blood tells us, "In New England, we go to bed early. It is so dark in December. Our family tradition is new pjs and a bathrobe to be opened Christmas Eve." A great photograph of a very stylish Midge and robe.

Greta Koehl of Greta's Genealogy Bog very wisely tells us that "Certain gifts stand out in my mind for a combination of practical and sentimental reasons, but I suppose they also say a great deal about the givers." Indeed they do! From the sublime to the KitchenAid.

A beautiful scrapbook page from Jasia of Creative Gene captures the visual memories of Christmas 1970 while her equally beautiful writing provides the back story. "Oh, it's so nice to have the memories!" It is!

Heritage Happens to Cheryl Fleming Palmer in her Smile submission, Advent Calendar Day 10 ~ Christmas Gifts. He was making a list and checking it twice, but Cheryl had to grow as a genealogist to understand the significance. A lesson for us all!

Advent Calendar: December 10, 209: Christmas Gifts

Liza Alzo, The Accidental Genealogist, has a photograph of a Santa Doll in her rememberance of Christmas Gifts. She tells us she still has him. A genealogist's trait? I think it is.

Travis Lemaster of TJLGenes: Preserving Our Family History, writes that a photograph of his grandfather in Grandpa Got A Bobcat is "in itself a gift, because it gives me some insight into a man who passed away when I was too young to know him." This is a very interesting photograph ca. 1906!

What Do I Do With This?

Earline Hines Brandt of Ancestral Notes has a very interesting photograph and an unusual tale of a Christmas Gift. Read the story, read the story!

"Over the years, as I began to locate and communicate with some of my extended family, I have come to realize that the most cherished gift ever given to me is MY FAMILY." And Linda Hughes Hiser of Flipside backs that up with a wonderful collection of group photographs of her family to demonstrate her gift.

Smile For The Camera 19th Edition

Brian Zalewski has the bug, the genealogy bug. He caught that bug from a gift, a photographic gift. A wonderful photograph, perhaps of a family confirmation celebration. Visit Zalewski Genealogy, but be careful I think this might be contagious.

Did you inherit "The Gene?" The dreaded Christmas spoiler gene? Well, Alex of Winging It believes her family are carriers. Go read her Advent Calendars post on gifts. You may recognize yourself. Perhaps you're even related!

Taneya Koonce of Taney's Genealogy Blog takes the prize for best photograph of a gift. You must see this one! And there are some really cute photographs of Taneya as well.

I have always loved toy trains. The older the better. Charles Hansen of Mikkel's Hus had a difficult time recalling a memorable gift, but in the end it was the toy train his father had worked so hard to give to his son that Charles selected. A perfect memory! A perfect photograph.

Miriam Midkiff of Ancestories: The Stories of My Ancestors paints a beautiful mental photograph with her stories of giving to her children and receiving as a child. A note from Miriam's mother showed she was a lover of photographs even as a child. "She also was excited over the pictures you sent and showed them to us several times."

Aunts Of Christmas Past

Liz Haigney Lynch of The Ancestral Archaeologist writes of her two aunts who were the alpha and omega of Christmas gift giving. Their gifts ran the gamut of fabulous to those found in an area Liz calls Siberia. And please, take a moment and visit the gift of Honey Moon. It will be worth it.

Advent Calendar: Christmas Gifts

A Multitude of -sens' author Tracy opines on shopping. "I love giving Christmas gifts when I know just what to get. Shopping for my daughter's gifts is fun, because I usually know just what she'd love. For our nieces and nephew, it's more difficult, because I don't know what they already have. For the adults, it's a chore." And Tracy, as to the credit card statement - I'm with you!

Barbara Poole of Life From The Roots writes "It is indeed the best gift ever, something totally from the heart, and didn't cost much, except for her hours, and hours and hours of time." And we who have researched the old fashioned way know the worth of it.

Herstoryan's Hearth - Christmas Gifts
The Making Of A Housewife (1906)

Herstoryan, she of the blog of the same name, gives us a wonderful excerpt from her favorite household manual regarding Christmas Gifts. "Let us jot down a list of eatables which can be transported picturesquely. Plum puddings with a sprig of holly tied to them, creamfilled ladylocks, candy, a box of pates, ready to be filled with creamed chicken or oysters, a cake, a pie, or a tumbler of mayonnaise." The photographic illustrations that accompany this excerpt are wonderful.

Advent Calendar - Day 10 Christmas Presents

Elizabeth Saunders of Travels With Books, shared some wonderful toyful memories. She had the entire Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman set-up. Lucky! Lucky! Lucky!

Advent Calendar: December 10

Amy Coffin, Bean to her family, and author of We Tree, tells a delightful romantic story behind one of the best Christmas gifts she ever received. A jersey? Yes, and the story makes perfect sense, but better than an engagement ring? Hmmmmm. I thought you were a "rock" star.

Day 10 Christmas Gifts

Twig To Roots author, Karen Taylor, introduces us to a gift-giving tradition that has been in her family growing up and one that she continues today - a tree gift after tea-time on Boxing Day. A tree gift is a small gift that sits upon the tree itself. A nice introduction to traditions you may not have heard before.

Gifts Advent Calendar

Liza of the Folk Archivist's Blog says, "Every year there seems to be at least one gift that wasn’t on my list, takes me completely by surprise and causes sheer delight." And the packaging for some of her gifts is amazing. You are one lucky woman.

Christmas Gifts

Tina Lyons of Tina's Genealogical Wish List is admittedly not very good at receiving. Of herself she says, "I have enjoyed the giving more than the receiving for many years now. I am too picky to make the getting any fun. I usually dislike most things that other people think that I would want. For many years I really liked cows." So what happened? Why read the rest of the story of course.
Advent Calendar - December 10

"I think what I like the best is the company of my family and just getting together for dinner, and sharing the time," says Claudia of Claudia's Genealogy Blog. Time is a valuable and cherished gift that we all have the ability to give!

Advent Calendar Dec. 10
Christmas Gifts

The remembrance of a Christmas smell from Tracy the author of The Pieces of My Past, brought back very similar memories for me. ". . .the box and it's contents always had that lingering pleasant scent of her perfume. Still to this day when I walk past a department store's perfume counter and I smell Chanel No. 5, I always think of Grandma."

Advent Calendar Challenge - Gifts

My Twitter friend, Sherry Kline of Family Tree Writer, suggests a great photographic gift. The gift? A family calendar to keep everyone up to date with the focus on a different family group each month. Sherry has included the photograph of this year's calendar cover. Very nice job Sherry!

"I love giving gifts, always have. I love to see the expression on my daughter and grand kids faces, or others when you know it's just the right gift. That's what it's all about, again, the experience becomes the gift," says Gini Webb of the blog Ginisology. Gini certainly knows the secret - shhh! It's the experience.

Advent Calendar: December 10

Amanda (The Librarian) and author of the blog ABT UNK (About Unknown) experienced a morning and an afternoon tradition of opening Christmas presents. Those are some great photographs to go with the story and some great memories to go with the photographs.

Aaron Clark Ivory's Christmas gift is "One thing that I have been working on for Christmas this year is digitizing some of the old 8mm and Super 8 film that my grandfather has of my Dad and his siblings." Aaron includes a YouTube video of his Dad. This may become a YouTube GeneaSensation! You decide at Generation Ivory.

Bill West, my favorite bookseller, and the master of all he surveys on West In New England, proved to be a great son. "We didn’t have a color tv so one year when I was working at the toy warehouse I put a portable Magnavox color tv on layaway and gave it to my folks for Christmas. That tv lasted for years, even after my folks got a larger console set." But not as long as the memories.

"It would be nice if we could always give the perfect gifts, but life isn't perfect and none of us are perfect, so we need to appreciate the efforts and desires others have to please us." Jenalee wraps up her post on Christmas Gifts at Family Story Keeping with this advice. Conduct we should all try to emulate.

Advent Calendar Christmas Gifts

Sue F. of it's a long long journey says she has never had a bad Christmas where gifts are concerned. From giving to receiving I wish her more gift good fortune! We should all have Sue's frame of mind!

Simple Gifts

Our Thomas, MacEntee that is, of Destination Autin Family is simplifying his life. So he now looks for the simple gifts, "'experience' gifts: a gift certificate to a day spa, tickets to a theater production, a ride on the Chicago Architectural Boat Tour, etc. I've learned that materials items are not always important." Good advice! Now everyone! Step away from the keyboard and go experience Christmas with family and friends.

Without Them A Family Historian Would Have Nothing To Do

foonoteMaven closes the album cover on this edition of Smile For The Camera & The Advent Calendar withWithout Them A Family Historian Would Have Nothing To Do posted at Shades Of The Departed. Family is our greatest gift and mine are always here to Smile For The Camera.

Thank You All!

Thank you to everyone who participated in this fantastic 19th Edition of Smile For The Camera and The GeneaBloggers Advent Calendar. Welcome to all the first-time contributors. We had 62 participants; a record I believe. It is evident from each and every photographic submission and accompanying post that a great deal of time, effort, love, and research went into each contribution. As Randy Seaver would say, please take a moment to stop and comment and show your appreciation!

Now The Call For Submissions!


Smile For The Camera
10 February 2010

I hope Smile participants won't mind, but with a huge Smile this Christmas and Blog Caroling yet to post, I am giving myself a January break and will resume Smile in February. Same time, same place, same blog channel.

The word prompt for the 20th Edition of Smile For The Camera is "Valentine." Love is in the air, so celebrate with Smile by sharing a photograph of a Valentine; be that person or paper. The interpretation of Valentine is yours. Admission is free with every photograph!

Your submission may include as many or as few words as you feel are necessary to describe your treasured photograph. Those words may be in the form of an expressive comment, a quote, a journal entry, a poem (your own or a favorite), a scrapbook page, or a heartfelt article. The choice is yours!

Deadline for submission is midnight (PT)
10 February 2010


There are two options:

1. Send an email to the host, footnoteMaven. Include the title and permalink URL of the post you are submitting, your name, and the name of your blog. Put 'Smile For The Camera' clearly in the title of your email!

2. Use the handy submission form provided by Blog Carnival, or select the Bumper Sticker in the upper right hand corner.

See you at the Carnival!


Blogger Elizabeth O'Neal said...

fM - Thank you for the gift of this wonderful Carnival!

I hope that you and your family have a blessed, peaceful Christmas.


December 24, 2009 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

I've been slowly going to each link for this carnival to look at the gift posts. What a lot of time and effort you put into reading and reviewing all the entries. Thank you so very much.
Merry Christmas to you!

December 24, 2009 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

fM - A lovely carnival! Thank you for your kind words. I can't imagine how long it took to put this together - I don't know how you do all that you do.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

December 25, 2009 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

What a wonderful Carnival! Thanks for including me... I'm so glad I participated!!

Bill ;-)
Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

December 26, 2009 at 8:41 PM  

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