Use technology to save Christmases of old

Published 9:40 am Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all.

The holiday season is a time for great cheer, but also of reflection. You may miss a parent or a grandparent who was so special to you while you were growing up. This special person might have done something each holiday season that you will always remember and cherish.

During this season, please take the following steps to secure the precious history of your friends and family and the treasures they all hold.

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1. Talk to your parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts. Ask questions about your family traditions and stories about your parents and grandparents youth.

2. Take this information down. Today’s technologies have allowed us to video-record, take photos, write, and record our family’s histories better than at any time in our history. Take advantage of this.

3. Buy a hope chest. Keep family heirlooms, photos and heart-warming family memories in an important area. Log information on your computer and catalog important events.

You might not see this as a huge deal currently, but trust me, in time you will. Someone in your family will want to carry on the traditions you had and it could be that beautiful baby daughter or son that you are holding right now. When these younger generations get older, they will have questions about the past and what a shame it would be to not have that information for them. Please take the time and record your families now. You will not regret it.

‘Live United’

United Way of Freeborn County is getting ready to wrap up its season of giving and Live United goals for the year. United Way director Ann Austin, assistant Corrine Applegate and 2009 United Way campaign chairman Steve Merfeld have worked tirelessly at reaching the goal of $645,000.

The United Way campaign is over $550,000 and has one week to hit the goal. All donations for this year’s campaign need to be in the local office by Dec. 31, 2009. If you have not given, please give. If you have a little extra, please give. If you got an ugly tie for a present, return it and then make a donation to United Way. The 19 agencies that the “Live United” theme represents in Freeborn County are real people dealing with real life struggles. The money raised helps people right here and right now.

‘Invictus’ the movie

If you get a chance, please go and see the true story of Nelson Mandela and the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The movie is called “Invictus” and it is based on a great poem by William Ernest Henley. The poem was used by Nelson Mandela as inspiration during his over 20-year imprisonment in South Africa.

‘Invictus’ the poem

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll.

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

Happy holidays and a safe new year to you all!

Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.