My New Year’s Resolution: Family History

 I saw a funny flier at a local LDS chapel. It read: "Do you get the feeling some dead person is waiting for you?" It was a flier to attend free family history classes at their building. The question certainly caught my attention- it was weird but also true. When we talk about genealogy or family history, we are talking about the search for dead people. This flier and other experiences have prompted me to add another resolution to my always-long list of resolutions: to do more family history work.

I want my kids to know where they came from. I have a vague idea but not enough to give them any definitive story. The more I look into it, the more I realize I don’t know, even in the more recent past. I don’t have the photos or the names of towns. In short, I have a lot of work to do. 

So I’ll be looking for dead people this year. I’ll be spending some time at the local family history library and talking to the older generation in my family. Hopefully, at the end of 2010, I’ll have a better idea of where I came from.

Family Holiday Traditions

If you think about it, the holidays are all about traditions. Traditions keep the whole thing going. Some families get together to watch It’s a Wonderful Life. Others gorge themselves on ham and football. Still others go hunting.

What traditions does your family carry on year after year to make the season special?

In our family, we make and deliver treats to our neighbors. Cookies, brownies, that kind of stuff. When I was a kid, we would dress up like ninjas, place the goodies on our neighbors’ porches, ring their doorbell, and then run like mad. We called it elfing. Maybe we’ll try out elfing when the kids are a little older. 

We re-enact the Nativity story by reading from the Book of Luke. Then we pull out a box which is decorated in brilliant silver wrapping paper- this is Christ’s present. On little slips of paper, we write what gifts we are going to give to Christ in the coming year. Then we insert those slips into the box. It’s our way of remembering what we are celebrating. Of course, then comes the presents and the food- oh yes, the food-, and the board games. There will likely be hours spent on video games and sledding and drinking hot cocoa. All of that. 

Make sure your holidays come with some kind of holiday. And make sure you spend it with those you love the most.


Nothing like a Family Recharge Weekend

Thanksgiving and Black Friday took a toll on our household. After playing flag football, playing a few rounds of basketball, braving the Black Friday crowds, going to other family functions, and so much more, we were just plain wiped out. Add to that our normal routine of school, church, and work, and you have a very exhausted family. In fact, a week later, we were still wiped out. 

So we decided to recharge this weekend. We slept in on Saturday, cleaned up a little around the house, played some video games, and had some mac and cheese for lunch. I found this great, little-known playground online and took the kids to it. It was about six times the size of a normal playground, all crafted from wood into the shapes of castles, rocket ships, volcanoes- basically, everything that little boys love. So we played there for at least 2 hours. Then we went home for some hot cocoa. 

The rest of the day was hot cocoa, movies, and popcorn. On Sunday, we hung out in the morning, went to church, and then came home to watch Christmas movies. 

In short, it was the perfect, vegging, recharging weekend. When I woke up on Monday morning, I could not have been more invigorated. 

So, in this busy holiday season, don’t forget to relax and recharge. Also, don’t forget to do it with your family. You won’t regret it.

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