The No Story Too Small blog has been giving genealogists and family historians wonderful writing prompts to help them to focus on the stories of individual ancestors. If you chose to do all the themes, you would end up having written about 52 ancestors this year.
One of the themes for December is “Thankful”. It seems like a very fitting theme to appear between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Both holidays are ones that are spent with family and expressing thankfulness for each other (and everything they have).
All of the themes suggested by the No Story Too Small blog are optional. If you don’t happen to like the “Thankful” theme, or feel that it doesn’t fit well with your family history blog or the lives of any specific ancestor, you are free to choose a different theme. The point is to get into the habit of writing about your ancestors and sharing their interesting life stories with others.
There is plenty of room in the “Thankful” theme. You could write about an ancestor or relative that you are especially thankful for having in your life. This person, whomever he or she may be, is someone you have turned to in times of trouble. They are the person you almost always enjoy spending time with. Or, perhaps they are simply the most optimistic member of the family who is good at pointing out the bright side of any situation.
Did any of your ancestors immigrate to America? What was their story? Chances are, they were thankful to be able to leave their country of origin and come to a land that offered them a much better life than they could have had at home.
Tell their story. What was happening that made your ancestor feel the need to leave his or her country? Were they able to travel with other family members? What were they most thankful for after arriving in America?
Another option is to focus on the Thanksgiving holiday. What relative hosts Thanksgiving dinner most often? Write about when that relative started hosting that family-oriented dinner, and point out how many years she did it. Is there a special prayer or blessing that your family says before they start to eat? Write about the ancestors who first owned the fine dishes and silverware that are used at Thanksgiving dinner.
It is also possible to put a different spin on the “Thankful” theme. Was one of your ancestors a doctor or nurse? Is there a story that has been handed down through the family of a time when that ancestor saved someone’s life? That person, and his or her family, was probably very thankful that your ancestor was able to help. They may have sent a card or letter or gratitude (which could still be around).
Image by Cindi Albright on Flickr.
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