Monday, December 18, 2006

CVGS Christmas Party today

Our annual Christmas Party for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society was today. This typically is a potluck luncheon at the Library with CVGS supplying the ham and turkey from a local store. We had about 30 in attendance, including some for whom this is the only meeting during the year due to other responsibilities.

There were two parts to the program today. First was the Officer Installation procedure. Our outgoing President, John Finch, had nice things to say about his Board members, and recapped the highlights of his two year term. Then he introduced the new Officers and read their official responsibilities and each committed to their new position. At the end of this, I, as the incoming President, made my first act to praise and thank John for his work for the Society. I went around the room and got many one-word adjectives describing John - all of them positive and encouraging. I also presented a certificate of appreciation from the Board to him. My second act was to declare that it was time for lunch!

After the luncheon, we had a short sharing time. We had asked the attendees to bring an heirloom or sentimental artifact and tell its story. I described my recent find of my great-grandmother's 1929 journal. Two members brought jewelry from their grandmothers. Another member shared about a letter found in family papers called "Homestead" - a letter from the builder of the house (but taking the house itself as the writer) to the descendants of the builder of the house. The house was torn down, but one of the descendants collected the wood and made birdhouses for each of the siblings who grew up in the house. It was very touching.

Then it was time for our door prize drawing. We had three prizes - a green Santa Claus, a red Santa Claus and a North Pole cake, all made by our members. My wife won the red Santa Claus. Finally, we had our wrapped gift exchange - if you bring one, you get one. Then it was Merry Christmas, goodbyes and cleanup time. I think everybody had a good time, and lots of great food.

It is important for genealogy societies to have traditions and to have social events where the members can get to know each other. We are a small society of 86, but the 30 members who attended today have a sense of community and a connection to each other and to the society officers.

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