This past Christmas I received a new family heirloom as a gift.
I didn't know it at the start. When I first received this present from my brother I looked at the title and thought I was in for something mushy from my brother and his girlfriend.
Upon second look I realized that they had put together something wonderful, a book full of family recipes. And they did it on the sly. They even got a recipe from me who was none the wiser.
Self-Publishing with Lulu.com
My brother and his girlfriend published this 54 page book using lulu.com. They created a template in a word processor then filled it up with recipes and photos.
There are all the usual parts of a book including a table of contents and chapters. Each page contains one recipe and a brief summary in italics before the recipe explains why it is special to the family member who created or used it. The book is filled with recipes from my family and that of my brother's girlfriend.
The book is small and contains no color photos except for the cover. I think what impresses me the most is that they actually put this together all on their own.
I have always thought about creating something like this but never actually tried. I have to admit my brother is a bit of a veteran at using lulu.com. I guess I'm a bit nervous about trying it and messing it up.
Perhaps next Christmas you or I might try to create a little book to give as a present and it might just turn into a family heirloom.
Here are some thoughts as to what I might include in a little book for a family gift:
- A photo family history of our extended family right now with pictures and brief bio (along the lines of a yearbook)
- A book presenting brief biographies of one branch of the family
- A family photo book of our ancestors. Instead of continuing to swap them electronically on CD why not print them and put them in a book as a family keepsake?
- An annual edition summarizing family research of the previous year
- A book of family heirlooms and their stories
- Stories told by elder family members
I'm sure there are lots more ideas of what can be created with a brief 50-page book. Share your ideas in the comments and then let's make it a New Year's resolution to get it done by Christmas 2011.