10    Feb 20140 comments

Valentine’s Day: Your Stories and Photos

Love is in the air!

Valentine's Day, the day where couples express their love for one another, is only 4 days away. All around the world, romantics traditionally exchange candy, flowers and gifts and reminisce about how they first met.

How did your grandparents fall in love?

As Valentine's Day approaches, we invite you to share the amazing love stories or photos from your family's history for a chance to win a 1 year MyHeritage subscription.

Every family has love stories in their history. These are the stories that bring our families together.
Perhaps you have a sentimental photo of your ancestors together, from their wedding day, engagement or just out having fun?

Continue reading "Valentine’s Day: Your Stories and Photos" »

15    Feb 20130 comments

Valentine’s Day: 1 billion cards

A card by Esther Rowland Courtesy Mount Holyoke College

How many valentines did you receive this year? How many did you send?

Some 190 million valentines are sent each year, according to the US Greeting Card Association. If you count the cards made by schoolchildren, it goes up to 1 billion. And, in 2010, some 15 million e-valentines were sent!

The American tradition of sending valentines was the idea of Esther Rowland (1828-1904), a young graduate of Mount Holyoke College (Massachusetts).

Holyoke's archives and special collections has an impressive collection of historic valentines, many created by Esther. She is credited with having established the commercial valentine industry in the US.

The school’s original name was the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, and Esther graduated in 1847. She was inspired by an ornate English valentine - sent by a family friend – to create her elaborate versions of the greeting card.

Continue reading "Valentine’s Day: 1 billion cards" »

26    Dec 20110 comments

Photos: Awkward family festivities

When families gather for the holidays, there are certain inevitabilities - the board games, over-indulgence and, for many, watching distinguished family members snoozing away in the middle of the day.

And then there are the photos.

Getting the whole family into the same frame is often a source of hilarity. Occasionally, we manage to get that special photo but, more often than not, it's a compromise.

Below are some great awkward festive family photos from - you guessed it - awkwardfamilyphotos.com.

Continue reading "Photos: Awkward family festivities" »

23    Dec 20110 comments

Warmth, Joy: Our family holiday traditions

Holiday scenes are engraved, from early childhood, in our memories and in our hearts. Each of us, regardless of what holiday we celebrate, carries these indelible memories.

Continue reading "Warmth, Joy: Our family holiday traditions" »

20    Dec 20110 comments

Holidays: All ages celebrate together!

Generations of a family

How do we successfully include all family members into our holiday celebrations?

Every family includes relatives of all ages, from babies through grandparents and even great-grandparents. In many families, there are also members of different religions, cultures, national origins and other factors.

Our unique family histories include so many people who lived at different times, but the holidays – regardless of what holiday your family celebrates – are when everyone gets together.

The group photo above - c1950s, Teheran - shows a snapshot of four generations of my husband's family, taken in the garden of his family home. Family celebrations there routinely included everyone, from newborns to great-grandparents. It is one of the few large group photos existing - I apologize for the quality.

While it may be easier to plan for the younger generation, senior family members may need a bit more attention.

Rheta Rosen, PhD, offers some tips for enjoying the holidays with senior members. She's the coordinator at the Interpersonal Skills Teaching Centre of Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada).

Rosen’s tips include some good points:

Continue reading "Holidays: All ages celebrate together!" »

28    Nov 20111 comment

Best gift for the holidays: Family history

Thinking about a good gift for that special family member? Don’t wait too long as the holidays are just around the corner.

December is a month of wonderful worldwide holidays. Christians celebrate Christmas (December 25), Jews celebrate Chanukah (December 21), and there is also the African-American festival of Kwanzaa (December 26).

Although there are many gift options out there, family history can be an unforgettable present.

At MyHeritage, you can create – for free - your own family tree design and then order a professional print delivered directly to your home or  to a relative anywhere on the globe. Surprise them! To learn more about this service, click here Continue reading "Best gift for the holidays: Family history" »

8    Nov 20110 comments

Thanksgiving Special: What’s on your table?

Thanksgiving Day is only a few weeks away and Americans are planning how to celebrate this important family holiday.

MyHeritage is also preparing holiday-related posts - and some surprises - so stay tuned during November.

A national holiday, Thanksgiving is observed in the United States - and worldwide wherever North American expats reside - on the fourth Thursday of November.

Every immigrant group to the US has also adopted the special day, which crosses all ethnic and religious lines.

"Turkey day" is a universal and delicious event, while the four-day holiday weekend also features football (not soccer!) games, major shopping days and great sales.

Thanksgiving Day's centerpiece is the lovingly-prepared feast on our tables, which we share with family and friends. People begin to plan holiday menus very early. Therefore, we  invite the MyHeritage community to participate in our poll below:

Continue reading "Thanksgiving Special: What’s on your table?" »

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