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Holiday Memories


Riding the Hay Wagon on the way to cut down our Christmas Tree! 1987

We had a relatively quiet Thanksgiving this year. My sister and her husband moved to Florida a few years ago, and live about 45 minutes from me, so they joined us for Thanksgiving Dinner. I love to cook and can’t seem to break the habit. Thanksgiving always included turkey, stuffing (or dressing), gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, string beans, creamed onions, turnip (actually mashed rutabaga), Nanny Mitchell’s cranberry relish, plus pies and other sweets for dessert. When we lived in Connecticut there were a lot of us and I usually cooked a 20+ pound turkey. This year I thought about just doing a turkey breast, but that was vetoed by my husband, who thinks the best part of Thanksgiving is the turkey soup. I ended up with a 10 pound bird…it certainly was the smallest bird I’ve every cooked. It was also small for a good turkey soup which I made today.


So now on to December. Over the weekend we took down the Thanksgiving decorations and started on Christmas. I love decorating and cooking for Christmas. As I was getting out the decorations, they brought back lots of memories.


If you've been following me for a while, you know that I frequently discuss the importance of writing about your research, and about your own stories and memories. I don’t have any stories or diaries from my parents or grandparents, but by writing down my stories there will be something for my children to think about and remember. Back in 2010 a genealogy bloggers’ group sent out prompts for writing the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories. At the time, I blogged each day from December 1 - December 25. Those blogs no longer exist, as my blogging platform has changed twice since then, but I did save the text thinking that someday (don’t we always say that) I would publish it as a gift for my daughters. I also wrote about it during December of 2019 and you can read those blogs here (#1, #2, #3). Today I pulled out the text and re-read all of them. Here are the list of prompts I wrote from in 2010. Feel free to change them around and add or delete to make them your own. They don’t have to be long…for some you may have just a sentence or two. My response to December 14 was simply “FOE”


December 1 - The Christmas Tree

December 2 - Holiday Foods

December 3 - Christmas Tree Ornaments

December 4 - Christmas Cards

December 5 - Outdoor Decorations

December 6 - Santa Claus

December 7 - Holiday Parties

December 8 - Christmas Cookies

December 9 - Decorations

December 10 - Christmas Gifts

December 11 - Other Traditions

December 12 - Charitable/Volunteer Work

December 13 - Holiday Travel

December 14 - Fruitcake – Friend or Foe?

December 15 - The Holiday Happenings!

December 16 - Christmas at School

December 17 - Grab Bag Blogging Christmas (your choice)

December 18 - Christmas Stockings

December 19 - Christmas Shopping

December 20 - Religious Services

December 21 - Christmas Music

December 22 - Christmas and Deceased Relatives

December 23 - Christmas Sweetheart Memories

December 24 - Christmas Eve


Writing in small bites with a prompt to get you going is a great way to create those memories. Perhaps now that I’ve “retired” 2023 will be the year that I’ll finally get around to publishing them. I'm also thinking of writing a 2022 edition of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.


Happy Hunting!



Registration for the 2023 Ireland Research Trip is moving along. I already have 9 people registered for Belfast and 6 for Dublin. Each trip will max out at 15, so if you're interested, complete the Registration Form (here) and mail it to me with your deposit.

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