Barry's Genealogy Diary

This online genealogical diary is hosted by Barry T. Self. It is primarily for information pertaining to the SELF surname, more particularly for descendants of John J. and Lydia Avaline Waters Self, who were married in Union County, GA in 1851. Barry Self is the SELF proclaimed family genealogist and historian, having spent over 20 years researching this Self line. This diary is dedicated to preserving and sharing the findings of his research.

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Location: Madisonville, Tennessee, United States

I am married to a wonderful and sweet wife, Svitlana, who is from Ukraine and we have a beautiful daughter, Lydia Elizabeth. I have worked in the funeral business since 1988 and thoroughly enjoy researching my family roots.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Lincoln Log Cabin

This past Saturday evening, my daughter, Lydia, asked me to help her build a Lincoln Log cabin underneath our Christmas tree. She has two sets of Lincoln Logs. The first set is a second-hand set that Svitlana and I picked up at a rummage sale for $1.00. This was before Lydia was even born (back in 2003). Svitlana had just learned that she was expecting, so we bought the shoe box full of Lincoln Logs we saw that day at the rummage sale just in case we had a little boy. I remember we talked about how a little boy might enjoy playing with them. As it turned out, our little girl enjoys playing with Lincoln Logs as much as any little boy ever would. Lydia received a second set of Lincoln Logs last year for Christmas too. I do not recall who gave her that set, but Lydia plays with them a lot. She always wants me to help.

Sitting in the floor, helping Lydia build the log cabin under our Christmas tree, got me to thinking about my ancestors and the types of homes they would have lived in a hundred years ago or longer. It also got me to thinking about all the Christmases my ancestors would have celebrated. I wondered about how Christmas must have been back then. I have heard people talk about how it was and I do find it interesting. It was certainly different in those days.

We all have heard how little our grandparents and parents got for Christmas when they were growing up. Maybe there was an orange and a single stick of candy. Maybe two sticks if you were really lucky. I have also heard that often it was just a pencil and an eraser or a pad of writing paper. Children today cannot imagine such a thing. I am sure everyone will agree that we all get too much in this modern age.

I can just see a little cabin, nestled among the trees back in the mountains, with snow on the ground and trees and smoke coming out from the chimney. I can hear the laughter inside the house. Children are running and playing. I can just imagine the family waking up Christmas morning to the smells of momma’s cooking and the children running to the Christmas tree to see what Santa had brought. There was probably an inviting, crackling fire in the fireplace. The tree was decorated with homemade ornaments. It did not matter that there was not much under the tree. Everyone was happy and thankful. They were thankful to be together and thankful for a warm, loving home. It must have been wonderful.

These are the things I am most happy for, family, friends and togetherness. I am also thankful for the true meaning of Christmas… Emmanuel… God with us.

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May God bless your homes and families this holiday season.