I always like getting history books for Christmas, and I like to give books because one doesn't have to worry about making sure that it is the right size, as which with clothes. I don't think I have much more to say about that. Again, I don't ask for anything for Christmas anymore because I don't have time to really think about what I want.
Has my family ever hosted any parties around Christmas time? If you count parties that have only family and friends, then I say, "Yes!" I can't say that my family hosts a party every year because we switch off with my grandparents and uncle and aunt. Most of the parties are just with family and a few close friends.
The majority of my memories of parties are of family Christmas parties. And all of the parties seem to be the same every year because they are with the same people - my family. Christmas is special to me because it is a time when I get to see family members, and since I've gone to college, Christmas is even more special because it is one few times in the year that I get to see all of my family members. Christmas is also a time when I actually have a break from school and I get to relax. So, for me, Christmas parties are not as important as just being home with my family.
Let me begin by saying that I love cookies. (Yes, I have a big sweet tooth.) A few days before Christmas my family would always make a variety of desserts and most of those would be cookies. The chocolate chip cookie would almost always be among the types made. And I usually would help my mom by making cookies.
About five years ago, my family hosted a Christmas party, and I helped my mom by making the cookies. Among the cookies that I remember making were Russian Tea Cookies and these brandy-and-chocolate cookies. I don't remember the exact name of them, but I do remember that they tasted very good. (I also remember one of my cousins reaction to trying one of these cookies. He didn't like them because they tasted different.) Oh, I do remember that I accidentally poured a little bit more of the brandy into the mix than was called for, and no it was not intentional.
I realize that this might seem a bit random, since this is not a post on my memories of past Christmases. Instead, it is a post about some questions on my mind.
As Christmas comes around, I wonder how my ancestors celebrated Christmas. So far, I have not been able to find any diaries or letters written by my ancestors, so I have no idea. I have ancestors from the British Isles and from Germany, and I realize that the traditions of both areas are completely different. How was Christmas celebrated in the Nineteenth Century and early Twentieth Century? How did farmers in the Midwest celebrate Christmas? I don't have the answers to any of these questions. To me, this sounds like a good research topic. Does anyone have any idea where to start looking for information?
Although I don't believe in Santa anymore, when I was a little girl, I did make lists of what I wanted for Christmas. But I never mailed the lists. By the time I got to middle school, I just stopped asking for stuff for Christmas. I think I originally stopped because I did not know what I wanted, but as I got older, I didn't ask for anything primarily because I was busy with school and did not have the time.
As a little girl, my parents took both my brother and I to see Santa and sit in his lap. For a couple of years my family would go to the Twelve Oaks mall on the weekend, and we would eat at the restaurant in Hudson's. There would be a Santa sitting at the entrance, and after we had breakfast, my parents would let my brother and I go talk to Santa. Of course the Hudson's restaurant was not the only place that I talked to Santa. Over the span of my childhood, I think I talked to several Santas. I don't remember how many. I've lost count.
Every year we decorate our house and the shrubs in the front yard with lights, but we don't go overboard. Not that I have anything against people who decide to do so. I actually think that those houses are most interesting and cool. We don't have a lot of time to decorate, so the decorating has to be simple. I'm sure that is the case for most people as well.
Of course there is always someone who really decorates his or her house. In the city where I used to live, there were a couple of subdivisions that that had homes that were decorated. (They looked as though they had been done professionally; that's how amazing they were.) Word of mouth would spread around about the houses, and people would drive around the subdivision looking at the houses. If we happened to be out and noticed homes that were decked out, would drive by those homes. I have always enjoyed looking at homes decorated with Christmas lights. There is something very comfortable and cheering about decorated homes.
The first edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy is here! The topic for this carnival was a carousel, so articles on any topic were accepted. Since this is first edition of the carnival, only six articles were submitted. I have chosen only to present five of the articles after reading through them because I felt that one of the articles (and I did read other articles from that person's blog to double check) was anti-Semitic. I will not post articles that are anti-Semitic (or are hateful to other people) because I cannot tolerate articles such as those and because my blog is meant to be family friendly. With that said, it is time to go on with the carnival.
First off, we have Just What Happened 99 Years Ago in Tunguska, Siberia?written by GrrlScientist (I do not know her real name) of Living the Scientific Life. This article is about the explosion that occurred in Siberian Russia in 1908, and it explores one of the theories over the cause of the explosion. (Although I was not thinking about scientific articles when I created this carnival, I have included this article because the article deals with a scientific and historical mystery from a country in this carnival's region.)
Next, we have Riding the Russian Railswritten by Poetloverrebelspy (Again, I do not know this person's name) of Less Than a Shoestring. This article is about trains in Russia, and how a person can find out more information on traveling by train in Russia.
Last but not least, we have What color is your heritage?written by Lisa of 100 Years in America. This article is about the multicultural heritage of Americans, and how you can make your own flag to reflect your heritage. She also writes about how one can can share the flag he or she had made.
Well, that is it for this edition of the carnival of genealogy. The next edition will be on Christmas traditions. Does your family have any Christmas traditions that came from your Central or Eastern European ancestors? Or are you familiar with the Christmas traditions of countries that are located in Central and Eastern Europe? Articles for the next edition are due by December 21.You can submit your article here.
I usually don't write about the weather where I am at, but the weather has turned a bit ugly over this past day. (As it is December, those of who live around the Great Lakes know, the weather can get bad at winter time.) Earlier, it snowed and rained on the west side of Michigan. Unfortunately, the rain froze on top of the little snow that we got, and so it is very slippery. If you live on the east side of Michigan (and farther east), the bad weather is heading your way. I just want to let people know.
32nd Edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy - Coming Soon Looking For My German Ancestors, Part 11 - Coming Soon More on my WW1 Veteran Ancestors- Veteran's Day ? Genealogy and History Thoughts Columns 20, 21 and 22 - ? Irene Havens, Part 7 - ? Trippstadt, Germany death records, Part Two - ?