Making it Personal – Using Mini-Books to Celebrate Our Learning Leaps
Holiday rituals are family rituals. The tiniest silliest thing that you happened to do last year and choose to do again this year can be the beginning of a tradition – a tradition every bit as valid as those that cross generations. Each little tradition can heighten our appreciation of those we love in the context of our shared culture.
With each new season we all create new combos of old and new activities. This is how cultures evolve. This is how families find their own special ways in the midst of larger cultures.
I’d like to share a ritual we follow in our family that brings waves of fun and learning. You might enjoy it as well: using MINI-BOOKS to celebrate your personal stories. What we read reveals a lot about “where we are” each year, so capturing these evolutionary moments lets us see ourselves and each other in new ways over time.
ENDLESS OPPORTUNITIES TO CONNECT & CELEBRATE. Each step along the way invites spontaneous sharing – from deciding favorites, to working together at the creation table. Each year you will hear lots of “Awww!’s” and stories when this box of personal ornaments comes out. revisiting the stories, the mistakes and the experiences of making the books bond you all once again in those moments. Visitors, too, will enjoy learning about you as they explore your tree – and conversations are inevitable about shared books. I’m sure you will find lots of opportunities to leverage your little gems.
HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. – a little prework makes creation day easy. I like having lots of the blank mini-books pre-made. Choose a size you can use for all; we went with a finished book size something akin to 1-inch by 1-1/2 inches. It is up to you.
- BOOK COVERS – Card stock can be easy and fast – and disposable if you are so inclined. But I like to put a single layer of papier mache over each card stock frame – really sealing in that fold. This coating can accommodate more layers of paint without crinkling. Pencil outlines are easily erasable on papier mache. I make up dozens of these blank ready-to-go bases and have some ready for the next year. Poke small holes in the binder section of each.
- DECIDING WHICH STORIES TO CAPTURE. A day or so before we each go through our book shelves and pick a few favorites for the year. Bring them to the decorating table.
- PAINT, ETC. We have quite a few very small brushes available for each person, small paper plates hold the dots of paint for mixing, and a few glasses of water, There will be lots of color changes. Fine markers can be good too.
- ART & DESIGN – I studied art in college and I can assure you that my books always ended up less clear than any that the kids did. Details can be fun – but the bursts of color that define the cover are the most important. The imperfect is part of the purpose – these aren’t real – they are fun.
- INSERT THE HOOK and hang. We always like to take a picture of each year’s full compliment,
So there you have it. I can’t wait to hear and see some of your family’s magic . I hope you enjoy. – Susan