Often times December to mid-January birthdays get overshadowed by the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year holidays. So we're going to shine a spotlight on those family members and ancestors this time around. Select one or more December to mid-January birthdays and/or anniversaries in your family tree. Write a short tribute to or memory of those birthday guys or gals and write a toast to the anniversary couples.
I think every family has lots of birthdays (and a few anniversaries) that fall during the Christmas holiday period. I'm picking a few from the early 1980s just cuz I have some photos of these events.
My paternal grandmother, "Nana," Elizabeth Massmann Pape, was born December 23, 1902. The family decided to throw a big 80th birthday party for her in 1982. At that time she had five children (all married), 28 grandchildren (many married), and 9 great-grandchildren, and most of them were able to come to the party in the Chicago area. A lot of the grandchildren, one of their spouses, and one great-grandchild are in the photo at the top of this post - I'm not going to try to name them all!
The photo at right is also from that 80th birthday party, and pictures Nana with her five children, from left, Elizabeth "Betty" Streff, my dad Fred Pape, Paul Robert "Bob" Pape Jr., Marilyn "Beete" Hedger, and Rose Mary "Moe" Dietz.
On January 2, 1981, my cousin Donna Pape married John Jajich, also in the Chicago area. Donna is just a few weeks younger than me, and her parents, Bob and Dolores "Lorrie" Olker Pape, are my godparents. We're all pictured at left. Donna had come to Texas for a long vacation the previous January, so of course I had to go to her wedding!
The days after the wedding were fun too. Donna's brother-in-law, her sister Terrie's husband Mark Zitzelsberger, celebrated his birthday a few days later. In the photo below, surrounding Mark are Terrie (pregnant with first child Lisa), Aunt Lorrie, my cousin Judy Pape Schaller, and me.
That same trip, I cross-country skied for the first time in the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois. That's me pictured to the left, and Judy and Uncle Bob in the photo below right.
All of these photos are especially meaningful now because Nana, Aunt Lorrie, Aunt Moe, and Uncle Bob have all passed away. I miss them, especially this time of the year.
(Post #15 in the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories hosted by Geneabloggers.com. Originally published December 15, 2009; minor revisions were made this year.)
© Amanda Pape - 2010