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Friday, September 16, 2011

Christmas Layout (1976), A Very Special Memory




I will never forget Christmas 1976. I have remembered it over and over again throughout my life and can't believe I have never scrapped about it until now.

I was working on some projects this week using the upcoming Close To My Heart October Stamp of the Month (I shared a project with that yesterday too). It's a beautiful Christmas stamp set. I usually don't share Stamp of the Month projects until the month you can actually purchase the stamp set, but since I used some sketches for 2 of the projects (see yesterday's post), I am sharing them this week. You may see these projects, along with several others I made, in October too. When October begins, I'll be revealing this set along with ordering information. Stay tuned! In the meantime, there is a wonderful September Stamp of the Month and September National Stamping Month Special that you can read about and see here.

For this one-page layout, I used this week's sketch from Creative Scrappers (sketch #173). I am a big fan of their sketches and always feel inspired to have a jumping off point. I also added a hidden journaling pocket behind the photo. In case you are wondering what it says (it will explain the photo of the yellow bike!), here it is:

"I think I will always remember Christmas 1976 (6th grade). We were living in Littleton, CO and my dad (LeRoy Overstreet) had recently resigned from his job. Things were not going as he was promised when he was hired over a year before and he felt some very unethical things were happening there. As a result, he quit on the spot with no other job in sight. I know my mom supported him in this decision, but it was still a very tough year for our family. Although my parents did all they could, making ends meet was almost impossible during this time. My dad did find odd jobs here and there, my mom began doing full-time babysitting, we lived on our food storage as much as possible, and my mom baked bread (I loved bread days!). Christmas was coming and I really wanted a brand-new 10-speed bicycle. Of course now, as an adult, I see what a selfish wish that was. At the time I was just a 10-year old who was hoping for the impossible. I remember my parents telling me a week before Christmas that I was not to go into my dad's workroom in the basement. What do you think I did? I promptly waited until everyone was in bed asleep, and snuck into the workroom. Inside I found an old, beat up, white 10-speed bike. I tried to feel excited, and even started thinking about how I was going to pretend to be so grateful on Christmas morning. I may have been young, but I was old enough to understand that we didn't have much money and my parents were trying so hard to grant my wish anyway. Christmas morning finally came. I, along with my sisters, went upstairs to see what Santa had brought. To my great astonishment and surprise, there was a brand new, bright yellow 10-speed sitting by the tree for me. I was so genuinely shocked and excited. I couldn't figure out how that ugly old bike in the workroom had turned into this one. Years later I asked my mom about it. She told me that my dad had wanted so much to give me what I had asked for and didn't want our financial situation to ruin the magic of Christmas for us girls. He heard about a police auction a few days before Christmas and went. He was able to bid on the yellow bike and pay about the same price for it that he had the old white one. Still, years later (I'm now 45), I tear up as I think about this. I will be forever grateful for parents who found a way to grand the almost impossible wish of their 10-year old daughter. (written 9/16/2011)"

One of the things I love best about scrapping is re-living the event or memory I am scrapping about as I scrap, and then again and again as I browse my books. I'm so glad that my children, and their children, and generations to come will be able to read about and see some of my life-altering moments. I didn't have photos from that Christmas (many of my parents' photos were ruined in a flood when they lived in Hawaii), but I do have the memory. So, I just googled "photos of yellow 10-speed bikes" and found this. Cool beans! You don't always have to have a photo of your own to preserve a memory. With a little creativity and ingenuity you can create a beautiful layout with photos of things that pertain with a few seconds on google!

Oh, and don't forget, you can find great CTMH products to preserve your memories 24/7 on my website.

13 comments:

Crafty Texan said...

What a beautiful story and tribute to your parents' love for you. Greta layout too! :)

Lori said...

What a touching story. I had a very similar experience one Christmas too. I love how you convey your emotions in your journaling.

Jamie Harder said...

What a BEAUTIFUL story!!!! Your parents sound like amazing people! So sweet! LOVE how you have scrapped it...those stockings are adorable!!

Cheryl Nelson said...

ok, you have me tearing up here, too. What an AMAZING story and BEAUTIFUL lo to showcase it. Scrapbooking at its BEST!!!

Alanna said...

What an amazing story and layout. So touching. TFS.

Nicole Norris said...

Gorgeous work. I am excited about next month's som.

Brenda said...

What a wonderful story of love. I am so glad you were finally able to scrapbook it - and find a way to do it without the actual picture. This is what scrapbooking is all about!

Stampin n da Hood said...

Great story, Karen! and you're right we don't have to always use our "own" pictures…I did a memory lunch box album of my high school years and could find a picture of our Orange with black striped Gremlin…I found a white one and sponged the photo! No one knew any different! hehe

Laurel said...

Beautiful story and fabulous layout!

Tracey Mason's Studio said...

Only you could make me cry over a bike. You should write books Karen. Like one of those Gratitude books you find in Hallmark. You make people like me reflect on the good things in life, what we should be grateful for and life's little blessings. So glad you post from your heart & share with us. Love to you special friend!

Blythe said...

Karen, what a sweet story. Yay for parents who sacrifice so much for their kids. And yay for the perspective to look back on it and finally appreciate it. Love it Karen!

Amy said...

Aww you made me cry at work. That will teach me to read blogs on break! LOL this story is so so so sweet.

Trisha Morton said...

What a beautiful story and layout. You're amazing, girl!

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