Close

All MCPL branches will closed on May 30 for Memorial Day. Our Virtual Branch is available 24/7.

Back to top

Holidays, 2020 Style

Holidays, 2020 Style

December 15, 2020

This year, the holiday season is different, maybe something like 1918-1919 might have been. My grandfather from Iowa died in 1919 during the time of the Spanish Flu. His death certificate indicated that he died from pneumonia, one of the primary causes of death during the 1918-1920 pandemic, according to this National Institutes of Health article. My grandmother’s written memories indicated that, as a traveling salesman, he had been out on the road and came back home sick. He fought his illness for a number of days before he died. My cousins and I have conjectured that maybe his death was a result of the Spanish Flu, but we have no way of knowing any more for sure; my grandmother’s notes about it give us pause about his contracting his illness from where he had been travelling.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in many ways, and in turn, everyone has stories to tell about the impact of the illness on their lives. This holiday season has and will likely inspire new ways of connecting with family as each one of us endeavors to stay as safe as possible. Many folks have curtailed travel for the time being, but still have the 2020 advantage of communicating online via several different mediums. Even in-person family gatherings may have a whole different feel, with masks, elbow bumps, and gestured hugs and kisses—a whole new take on traditions.

This is a rich opportunity to put the pen to paper and write about how this holiday year is different for you. There is also the possibility of recording your voice as you share your experience by using one of the Library’s Tell Me a Story oral history recording kits. Doing so can save your memories about this for future generations, explaining your perspective as no one else could. Hopefully, this type of experience doesn’t come around again for another 100 years, or even better, never, but the takeaways we gain can be an enlightenment for our descendants to understand the backdrop of our personal experiences in this tumultuous time of change, highlighting how it permanently changed our futures.

In writing these stories, there are plenty of tools available at the Midwest Genealogy Center and Mid-Continent Public Library that can assist you, including the books Telling Your Own Stories, Finding your Voice, Telling your Stories, Memories of Me, and others in the MCPL catalog.

We can all be historians here. Let’s make a special effort now to let posterity know that this year was different.

Twila R.
Midwest Genealogy Center

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

View All Blogs

Read Similar Blogs:
Writing
Genealogy

Resources You May Also Like

Access NewspaperARCHIVE

Search hundreds of newspapers from more than 400 cities.
More Info

Irish Newspaper Archives

Find articles from Ireland’s leading newspapers.
More Info

Events You May Also Like

Starting a Writing Project (ZOOM)

Mon, Jun 13 2022
6:30pm - 8:00pm Central
Story Center Event
Virtual Event
Start your writing project with Story Center Program Manager and author Shannon Thompson by diving deep into creative inspiration, and learn tricks to prevent writer's block.

Blogs You May Also Like

The California Trail: There’s Gold in Them Hills!
Read More

The California Trail: There’s Gold in Them Hills!

Boom town, claim jumping, fool’s gold, forty-niners, gold fever—this is the language of the California G
Tale of a “Friend”-ly Visit
Read More

Tale of a “Friend”-ly Visit

Wilbur opened the door to my Quaker ancestry.
We want YOU! To Volunteer at MGC
Read More

We want YOU! To Volunteer at MGC

Do you have experience researching your family history and want to share your expertise with others?
Nothing to Write Home About
Read More

Nothing to Write Home About

I have always thought about writing my personal history, but my life seemed like nothing to write home about.

Was this page helpful? Yes No