Holiday Writing Triggers for Family Memories
Write about Family Memories Related to Holidays
Following the calendar, I'll give memory prompts to start you writing about long ago holidays. It's important to write down these memories to save for your children and grandchildren. Who knows, maybe you'll even have enough to self-publish a book. Your family will treasure it.
These memory triggers will get your started. I recommend getting out old family photos too and using those to help you write your memories of your family and your childhood days.
(photos from my family album - Thanksgiving)
January Writing Triggers
Remembering Childhood New Year's Eves - A writing trigger for January
Did your family do anything special for New Year's Eve or New Year's Day? Think back about parents going to parties, having a baby sitter, being allowed to stay up until midnight or related activities. Remember any special customs, making resolutions, and special New Year's foods.
February Writing Triggers
Remember Making Valentines? - Write about Valentine's Day activities from your childhood
Did you decorate a box to hold your valentine's at school? Was there someone special that you made a valentine for or that you wanted a valentine from? Think back to school day memories and parties or special foods you had at Valentine's Day.
Video Tutorial for Making Valentines
March Writing Triggers
Write about Childhood Memories of St Patrick's Day
March writing prompts
Think back to when you were young and what you did on St Patrick's Day. Did you wear something green that day so you wouldn't get pinched? Did your family have an Irish heritage and celebrate the holiday? Did you see a parade or get to participate in a St Patrick's Day parade? Did you ever search for a four-leaf clover in the yard?
Celebrating the Irish
April Writing Triggers
April 1st - Time for Pranks
Write about Memories of Childhood Pranks
For April Fool's Day
Perhaps you had a practical joker in your family. What kinds of pranks can you remember? Tell about incidents you remember and how you felt about those.
May Writing Triggers
Write about May Day
A writing prompt for the month of May
Think back to childhood and the May Day activities you participated in. Did you furl paper into a cone shape, add a handle and fill it with flowers from the garden? Who were the recipients of these May Day baskets? Grandparents, neighbors...? Tell about the flowers used for the may baskets and how you decorated it.
At school or other organization did you have a maypole or in any other way celebrate the start of May?
Old-Fashioned May Day Basket
A Book of Family Memories - That includes May Day memories
This is a good example of putting your family memories into a book.
With self-publishing getting easier, one can write your childhood memories and publish them in a book like this one.
Celebrating Mother's Day - Write about your childhood memories of Mother''s Day
Zazzle graphic: Vintage Mom Served Breakfast in Bed by the Family Sticker by YesterdayCafe
Think of special activities in your family related to Mother's Day. Did you make a gift or card at school to give your mother? Was there breakfast in bed or a dinner out? Would you save up your allowance to get a gift or pick flowers in the yard to give her? What kinds of gifts did your mother like?
June Writing Triggers
Writing Topic - Playing with Dad
Write about your childhood memories
Think back to playtime during your childhood. Were you expected to play on your own, with other kids, or did Dad join in and play with you? What was a favorite game to play with your father? Was this after his work day or on weekends. Did you go fun places with your dad?
Clothes Make the Man - Memories of Dad - Father's Day Memory Trigger
Thinking about the way your dad dressed will bring back many childhood memories. Write a description of your dad with his work attire and casual attire as the basis. Did he wear a suit or overalls for his type of work or a uniform? What kind of shoes and what kind of hats did he prefer? Did you ever give him a gift of a tie for Father's Day or other occasion? Did he wear special clothes for activities like golfing or fishing?
Remembering My Dad
July Writing Triggers
4th of July - Memories of Childhood
Write about the way your family celebrated the 4th of July. Remember family picnics, parades and fireworks. What kinds of fireworks were you allowed as a child? Include all the senses (sound, sight, touch, smell) in your description of the day.
August Writing Triggers
More to Come...
I'll be adding more holiday memory prompts to this page, so come back to see those.
September Writing Triggers
Memory Activities Help Memory Challenged Adults - Through the Seasons: An Activity Book for Memory-Challenged Adults and Caregivers
Whether it's Alzheimer's, dementia or brain injury, here are activities for family or nursing home staff to use to help with remembering. After a stroke, often the short-term memory may be damaged, but the long-term memory still remains. This is the case with my family member who is in a nursing home.
Talking about old-times with him works better than asking him about what has happened recently. This book gives ideas for bringing out those old memories with people in these situations.
October Writing Triggers
Write about Halloween Costumes
Think back as far as you can or summon up family stories to remember your early Halloween costumes. Describe each one with as much detail as you can. What was your favorite? Tell about costume mishaps, how the costume was chosen and who made it or bought it.
Did you wear the costume to school, for trick-or-treating or to a party? Tell about the activities that went on at events where you wore your costume.
Write about the costumes that your siblings wore. Did you like your brother's costume more than your own?
Having Fun Carving the Pumpkin
Did You Make Jack O Lanterns?
Tell where you got the pumpkin. Was it an outing to a farm, from the store or did you grow it? Set the scene and add descriptions that use all five senses.
Tell about the carving of the pumpkin and where you displayed it. Was it lighted? What happened to it later on?
Graphic from Zazzle: Halloween Retro Vintage Pumpkin Carving Dad & Kids by holly_ween
November Writing Triggers
Write about Family Stories of Soldiers and War - Save your family's military history
Did your father or grandfather talk about serving in the armed forces? Were they in combat? Write about any stories that you heard or bits and pieces that were passed down through the generations from earlier wars. If they did not talk about their military service, write about anything you've learned or questions that you have about that. If it's not too late, ask a family member about this topic.
Veteran's Day Memory Samples
- WWII Kansan and his P-38 the Jayhawk
My mother, Gail Lee Martin, wrote this memory of her brother-in-law, Ralph Martin. He served in the U.S. Air Force in WWII.
Write about Thanksgiving Day Memories from Your Childhood
A holiday memory prompt for November
Describe a Thanksgiving Day from your childhood. Tell where you were, who was there and what food there was. Think about the small details of the day, the activities, and anything that stands out in your memory. Write about the day. Tell what things you were thankful for at that time.
An Example of Thanksgiving Memories - Read it for inspiration, then write your own
- We Gave Thanks Prairie Style
Writer: Gail Lee Martin. About: Her parent's, Clarence & Ruth McGhee. Location: Teterville area, Kansas USA. Year: 1930. You'll love my mom's story about a 1930s Thanksgiving feast.
December Writing Triggers
Memory Prompts for Christmas
Did you help wrap gifts or did they mysteriously appear under the tree? Did relatives send gifts in the mail or was there a large family gathering with gifts for the children? Write about your feelings as Christmas Day came near and what gifts your dreamed of receiving. Tell about activities that led up to Christmas Day. Were there special activities at school or church or home?
Write about Memories of Christmas Anticipation - From Your Childhood
Write about Memories of Christmas Shopping as a Child - December holiday writing trigger
Did you buy presents as a child or make something for your parents and siblings? If you shopped, who took you shopping and where? Try to remember the details like how you got the money for shopping, what you wanted to get as a gift and how it was received. Describe the shopping trip, the weather, and the mood. If you made presents, was it at school or at home and who helped you?
Memories of Getting the Christmas Tree - Write about your childhood experiences
Think back to childhood Christmas times or your young adult years. Did the family go to a tree lot to pick out a tree or did you cut down a tree? Perhaps you had one of those silver trees with the changing light colors. Describe the getting of the tree, the decorating experience and the kinds of ornaments that were on the tree. Did your school room have a Christmas tree? Was the family tree put up early in the Christmas season or the day before Christmas?
Memories of Santa Claus
Write about Santa and your childhood experiences
Did you put cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve? Write about your Santa encounters (at a store, parade or school event). When did you start to doubt the reality of Santa Claus and was it a big disappointment to you? Tell about what your family did to help you believe in Santa and how you handle this with your own children or grandchildren.
© 2011 Virginia Allain