Robert Eller

We have entered the season of sharing as the holidays are arriving. It is a time when we decorate, plan for upcoming celebrations and remember. This season, the Historical Association of Catawba County has way that you can do all of that at once. On December 2 they invite all of us throughout Catawba County to open our scrapbooks and find items detailing how we have documented holidays past.

The event, called “Catawba Holidays” is twofold. First, bring your items, up to 10, to the Catawba County History Museum, located on the Square in Newton. Pictures are a natural for everyone to see how you celebrated, but “scrapbook pages, bulletins, programs from plays and/or special holiday events” are also welcome, according to museum director Susan Holbrook. Items like those give us a window into the world of the past. You pick the year.

When you arrive, the historians at the museum will get as much information from you as you can provide. Who is in the picture? What were they doing? What year is this item from? All the documentary information that only you can provide. Also, they will have a release for you to sign before they scan and store your images. As Holbrook reminds all contribuors, “there is no charge to participate in this event.”Catawba Holidays

Following that, the Historical Association will feature your images on their website. As Susan Holbrook comments, “we look forward to a great start to a new idea to remember our past.” After they get all the images together, the exhibit will display how Catawba County celebrates the holidays, be it Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or Yule.

The real gift we give with this event is ourselves. Instead of being held in the pages of a family album that few might see, the photographs will reveal who we once were. The images will tell the story of us as people who are more alike than different, who look back upon the past fondly. Back then we might have imagined what the future might be one day, never fully anticipating that 2022 would look like this. More important than items bought at a store, these images share our stories and, as holidays tend to do, bring us closer.

And it doesn’t stop there. The Historical Association of Catawba County plans to showcase who we were (which always tells us a lot about who we are). “This will become a regular practice as we move forward throughout the year,” reveals the director. “We will offer community scanning events where the community will be encouraged to bring those important memories.”

Should you have questions about how this creative concept works, just give Susan Holbrook a call (828-465-0383) or email ( Many enjoy the privilege of getting together with family and friends over the holidays. This event reminds us that we are all part of a larger family, those that now live together in Catawba County. The mementos of holidays past will take us all back to a moment when we were younger, possibly much younger, an era that most regard as a simpler time.

Whether you contribute your remembrances to the collection or not, you need to see the outpouring of memories that will come from what your neighbors have lent to the museum, coming soon.

Photo: The 1924 Catawba Courthouse, on the Square in downtown Newton. Bring your holiday memories there on December 2 to share with the rest of us.