As we near the holiday season, thoughts generally turn to family gatherings. If you are like many families, you may have lost loved ones recently, so you may not be looking forward to these family gatherings. While there are many ways to cope with loss, one way I have found (and genealogists may agree) very helpful is to look at photos of past holidays.
I love watching A Christmas Storyjust as much as the next guy during the holidays, but this year I am on the prowl for your not-so-normal Christmas movies. Thanks to Google and our online catalog, I was able to pin down a list of titles that serve Christmas up in the most unconventional way:
I have a rather touching story to tell about an incident from this past summer. Being the joyous holiday season and all, this is a great time to share it. It began with a phone call I received from a woman who resides in North Carolina. She was calling to inform us that she had been on an airplane flight back to her home, and when she reached into the little pocket behind the seat in front of her to browse through the SkyMall catalog, she discovered a book.
One of my most vivid Christmas memories is of my grandmother. Most everyone can say that, I suppose, but this one doesn’t involve going to her house for Christmas. My grandmother, Dorothy Perry, lived in Los Angeles for most of her life. We lived in Kansas City. I grew up during the 1950s and 60s, and travel to Los Angeles was quite expensive, as were as long distance telephone calls (you paid by the minute). As a result, I didn’t get to see or talk to her very much.
When I was in 9th grade, I had my first formal introduction to the world of William Shakespeare. It was an unmitigated disaster. I was assigned to read Romeo and Juliet for my English class, and every moment felt like torture. My teacher wanted us to analyze all the characters and their motivations. And then there was the language.
When I was younger, it was a tradition in most families to go downtown and look at the decorations and the store windows. If you did not have a car, you rode the bus. This was a tradition that could be found in towns and cities across the United States.
During this time of the year, we start thinking about traditions: cookies Grandma made or finding the perfect tree with Dad. One of my favorite Christmases was actually one that wasn’t at all like the rest. The year was 2001. My family lived in Caracas, Venezuela at the time. It was at the beginning of the "Bolivarian Revolution," and things were tense between the government and opposing factions.
Tuesday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced their newest inductees. These artists and bands are selected based on their long-lasting impact on rock and roll. You may not have heard all of these names, but many of them have helped shaped the musical lives of your friends and parents. If you have any interest in current rock music, I suggest you request some of these albums and see if you can hear how these past artists have influenced the current music scene.
Some holiday traditions are born with each new child. Others are passed down through the generations. Sometimes, we have forgotten why we do the things we do, but we still do them. Probably, because Great-Grandma Isabella showed us how.
Mom had three tree ornaments that were always the last to go on the tree. When my brother and sister and I started having trees of our own, Mom gave each of us one of the ornaments. We treasure them.