Thursday, December 3, 2009

Writing about family traditions

Don't know what it is about November/December timeframe but it gets me thinking about family traditions.  For many people writing about Christmas traditions is a relatively safe way to get started on family history. There was a long period of time where I was not entirely sure if I actually had any "traditions" but after a bit of thinking and jotting down ideas some common threads started to appear.
My childhood and adult Christmas traditions are very different to each other mainly because of living on two separate continents in two separate cultures. Commonalities are spending time with family, decorating Christmas trees and singing Christmas Carols.
Childhood - the tiny tree was decorated on Christmas Eve by mum. One or other or both of my parents would wrap the presents, put them in pillow cases and lay them out on the sofa. The door to the living room was locked. Sometimes we would go to a Christmas Eve Carol Service. Christmas morning we were expected to get up, have breakfast then line up outside the door whereupon dad would unlock the door with great ceremony and we would troop in. (I think my grandma thought this was a bit silly but she played along.) After opening gifts and playing for a while dad would disappear into the kitchen and make dinner. Dinner was served at two and we would listen to the Queen's Christmas Broadcast then Top of The Pops (quite a contrast). Next day (Boxing Day) we would sometimes visit relatives or they would come to us.
So as you head into this festive season take a moment to write a story down. It does not have to be complicated or long. Just something to get you started.

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