Closson Press

Resolve to Write More This Year!

Jan 01

It is an annual tradition of mine to send a Christmas letter sharing the challenges and successes of the year and to share the lives of our children and grandchildren and others who are dear to us. The letter is filled with photographs of the grandchildren or others with enumerations of their accomplishments along with love and good wishes to family and friends. I keep a copy of this annual letter in a file to preserve those annual memories for myself and for the family.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of writing, reflecting and sharing family moments. We should all be writing annual Christmas letters and beyond that – writing more.

My second cousin’s grandmother unknowingly left a special treasure for the family. A letter written back in the late 1890s was found when they were moving a large dresser out of her bedroom after she had passed. Lodged behind the dresser was a letter a grandfather had written to his son who had immigrated to the United States from Germany. My cousin had it transcribed to English from German and shared copies with family members.

The son and father had lost touch and the father had handwritten several pages expressing his love for his son, love of family, and took the time to bring his son up to date on family members including where they lived, what they were doing, mentioning those who had passed, and so much more. I never personally met this grandfather, but I felt like I knew him after reading this letter. He was a devout Christian who loved the Lord and family more than anything else in his life. I was grateful for that opportunity to see into his heart.
 
Memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations are still fresh. Holiday get-togethers almost always include sharing stories and memories of days past. Take the time to write down those stories and preserve them for future generations. The best gift you can give to your descendants is your life and the lives of those you knew in your time and in your words.
 
In fact, with a new year beginning, why not set a genealogy resolution? It could be to allot so much time each week to research, or to write down what you remember about a favorite ancestor or a branch of the family, a holiday gathering, or to scan and organize family photographs so they can be shared with other family members. You could resolve to interview some of your living relatives and preserve their memories. Challenge yourself to chronicle your life for future generations.

The unintentional treasure left behind by my great aunt could very well be the intentional treasure left behind by you. The love I feel for my ancestor could well be the love felt by your children and grandchildren for you.

A New Year’s resolution to preserve your family history could be the best gift you could leave your family.

Happy New Year, Friends!

Mary

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