Sunday, December 28, 2008

Week Forty-Three: The New Year

It's hard to believe that it's time to ring out the old and cheer in the new. It's also time to write about your New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, and New Year's Resolution memories!

*Do you remember the first time you were allowed to stay up and see in the New Year? How old were you?

*How did you and your typically spend New Year's Eve during your youth? Did you go to a Watch Night Service and participate in communion and prayer? Did you watch the ball drop in Times Square on television? Did your community have a fireworks show?

*Did you have first-footers, mummers, or bang pots and pans on your front porch? Did you wear party hats and use noisemakers?

*If New Year's Eve involved feasting of some kind, what were the usual fare and beverages?

*How do all of the above compare to the way you celebrate New Year's Eve now?

*What about New Year's Resolutions? Did you make any when you were younger? Do you make them now? How well do you keep them? Was there any year when you really did a fabulous job at keeping them? What were your goals and how did you keep them?

*How did you typically spend New Year's Day in your childhood and youth? Did you visit family and friends? Did your family host an Open House? Did you watch the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game or another favorite sport? Or did you go to your favorite ski resort?

*How does it compare to the way you spend New Year's Day now?

*Are there any special customs from your heritage that are integrated into your New Year's celebrations?

*If you celebrate Christmas or another seasonal holiday before the New Year, when do you take down the decorations and put them away?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Week Forty-Two: Writing about the Holidays

This time of year everyone is busy with holiday preparation. The Genea-Bloggers have been doubly busy keeping up with all the carnivals, memes, and Saturday night games. So rather than post more journaling prompts that might possibly overwhelm our genea-blogging elves, I'm going to encourage those of you who do NOT have a blog to take a look at some of the writing events in which the Genea-Bloggers are participating, in order to get some ideas on what to journal:

The theme for the 61st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy was "Traditions" and the theme for the 62nd Edition will be "Three Wishes". Jessica Oswalt is doing something similiar for the 14th Edition of the Carnival of Central and East European Genealogy. What sorts of traditions have endured in your family? What new ones have you started? What do you hope will be passed on? If you could have three things that belonged your ancestors as Christmas or holiday gifts, what would they be?

Do you have a favorite Christmas or holiday photo? Who would you give copies to? This was the idea behind footnoteMaven's yet-to-be-published 8th Edition of the "I Smile for the Camera" Carnival, aptly named "Stocking Stuffer."

The footnoteMaven started a tradition of Blog Caroling last year, in which each blogger wrote his or her favorite carol or holiday song. It's been renewed this year. What a great idea! Write about your favorite carol, its history and author, how it became your favorite, and what memories it revives when you sing or play it.

Tim Abbott of Walking the Berkshires is getting ready to put together the 12th Cabinet of Curiosities. Do you have any odd ornaments, decorations, or heirlooms? How did you happen to inherit or come to own these?

Speaking of decorations, have you left a record of your decorated home (present or past) for future generations? Denise Olsen of Moultrie Creek is hosting the Christmas Tour of Blogs. This would make a wonderful scrapbooking/journaling combination for non-bloggers.

Are you of the Jewish faith? Then visit Schelley or John's blogs for creative ideas to share your celebrations of Hanukah.

And if all these ideas aren't enough to inspire you, then I recommend that you visit either Thomas or Jasia's blog to view the wonderful Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories, which they put together last year. There are 24 prompts to keep you busy writing and scrapping!

Journaling Responses to "Week Forty-One: Fall"

There were a couple of excellent responses to the Fall theme and I'm including them here, along with my own:

"Autumn in My Mind - Word Prompt" by Wendy Littrell at All My Branches

An untitled post by Thomas MacEntee at Destination: Austin Family

Mine is "My Favorite Season" posted at my other blog AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors