Updated: Dec 26, 2018
I don’t know about you, but when I look at my genealogical database I have lots of information about ancestors, and even quite a bit about my descendants, but I have almost nothing about me. Yes, there is the basic birth, marriage information, my education and religion, but that’s it. There are no notes…nothing else about me. If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, that’s all there is. Family history is about more than the hatches, matches and dispatches; it’s about the story of our life. Have you told yours? Clearly I haven’t.
So when I came across the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories last week, it was fun to read and to reminisce about growing up and the family traditions. I’ve asked my children, rather that buy me an expensive gift (right, like that was going to happen) to just write about their memories of Christmas. I’m sure that there will be things that I’ve forgotten, but were important to them. I can’t wait to read them. It’s even made me think about doing more in the next year to document my life and that of my husband.
Did you know that the FamilySearch blog has a series on #52Stories. That’s one a week and they provide a series of prompts to help you get started. They also have a section on Writing Tips. If you’re thinking about writing about your life, or even the life of one of your ancestors, this is a great site.
In case you decided to do your own Advent Calendar, here are the rest of the prompts.
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
I’ve given all the prompts to you since I’m headed north this week to celebrate Christmas in Connecticut with the family. I’m not sure what the blog situation will be next week.
Whether you’re writing on Christmas or #52Stories think about where you might share this information. It could be in a book (you’ve been meaning to write one, right?) or in a scrapbook, or as a blog. A blog is nothing more than a word processing document that you can share across the Internet. It’s free (check out WordPress or Blogger) and you never know when that cousin, who you don’t know and has the Family Bible (because the cousins always got the good stuff), might find your blog and contact you. It also might be someone sharing. Just this morning I got an email from a women who had come across a blog I wrote last January about a funeral notice published in an Irish paper. She began her email with "I came across your website with the above article. Found it very interesting because as I read the article I concluded that I had made an error in assuming a relationship in the family history.” Doesn’t that happen to all of us? I love it when people can take something personal from one of my blogs.
Since today is December 10th, I thought I’d share my 2010 blog post. Enjoy and…
December 10th- Christmas Gifts
I’ve been trying all day to remember some very special gift I received as a child, and yet nothing stands out. I have warm memories of my childhood Christmases, but they’re a little fuzzy. I remember more about trying to find the perfect gift for the girls. Against all odds, I did get the Cabbage Patch Dolls, and they were a hit that year, but I wonder if I ask them if they would remember any special gift.
My Christmas shopping list was always long, with gifts not only for my husband and children, but for my sisters and sister--in-law and their families, parents, friends and teachers and I always tried to get something special. As the years have gone by, the list has gotten smaller...parents have passed away and we pick names for a single gift for our extended families. The fact is, it’s harder to buy as there is nothing we need. When asked to put together a list of things we might like my list is very short...a book, a subscription to a cooking magazine, or a donation to a charity. A few years ago, instead of buying stocking gifts for our immediate family, the five of us donated what we could afford, and made a donation to Kiva, a micro-finance company. We have focused on lending money to women with the intention of alleviating poverty and improving their lives and as each loan is paid back, we select another individual to lend to. Of the eleven loans we’ve made, only one was not fully repaid. This is a the gift that keeps giving!
One of the gifts I will be giving to family this year is the donation of a mosquito net through the NetsforLife program for the prevention of malaria in Africa.
We have been blessed, and the best gift for me at Christmas is just to be with my family.