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Holiday Writing Triggers for Family Memories

Updated on August 11, 2015

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

for Holidays

Remembering Childhood New Year's Eves - A writing trigger for January

Many celebrate the New Year with fireworks. Did your family do that?
Many celebrate the New Year with fireworks. Did your family do that? | Source

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

for Holidays

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.

Old-Time Valentine

A vintage valentine from my collection. Remember exchanging these at school each February?
A vintage valentine from my collection. Remember exchanging these at school each February? | Source

Video Tutorial for Making Valentines

March Writing Triggers

for Holidays

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

We're all a little bit Irish on St Patrick's Day.
We're all a little bit Irish on St Patrick's Day. | Source

April Writing Triggers

for Holidays

April 1st - Time for Pranks

Looks like these cousins are plotting some mischief. What memories does this trigger for you?
Looks like these cousins are plotting some mischief. What memories does this trigger for you? | Source

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

for Holidays

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

The neighborhood children made this for my mother.
The neighborhood children made this for my mother. | Source

A Book of Family Memories - That includes May Day memories

Valentines & May Baskets: Helen's Old-Time Family Stories
Valentines & May Baskets: Helen's Old-Time Family Stories

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

Source

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

for Holidays

Remember romping with your dad?
Remember romping with your dad? | Source

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

I worked with my mother and sister to self-publish a book about Dad's life.
I worked with my mother and sister to self-publish a book about Dad's life. | Source

July Writing Triggers

for Holidays

4th of July - Memories of Childhood

Source

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

for Holidays

More to Come...

I'll be adding more holiday memory prompts to this page, so come back to see those.

September Writing Triggers

for Holdiays

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.

October Writing Triggers

for Holidays

Remember dressing up for trick or treating?
Remember dressing up for trick or treating? | Source

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

Source

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

for Holidays

Write about Family Stories of Soldiers and War - Save your family's military history

Dad told us stories about his brother, Ralph Martin, who was in the Air Force. What stories did your family pass along?
Dad told us stories about his brother, Ralph Martin, who was in the Air Force. What stories did your family pass along? | Source

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.

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.

Did your family have a special table for the children at Thanksgiving?
Did your family have a special table for the children at Thanksgiving? | Source

December Writing Triggers

for Holidays

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

This photo brings back memories of the 1950s. We are showing off our new Christmas outfits and toys for the camera.
This photo brings back memories of the 1950s. We are showing off our new Christmas outfits and toys for the camera. | Source

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?

My niece seems a little unsure about Santa in this photo.
My niece seems a little unsure about Santa in this photo. | Source

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.

Record Christmas Memories over the Years - in this book (available from Amazon)

© 2011 Virginia Allain

Have You Started Writing Down Your Memories?

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    • profile image

      burntchestnut 2 years ago

      Yes, I have some childhood memories on Squidoo. Thanks for featuring the one on my Christmas memories.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 4 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I think writing holiday memories is a great idea. Sometimes we talk about them, but then they may be forgotten.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I can't resist to tweet all theses beautiful writing triggers of you to all fans of mine. Very happy to read and proud to be here.. dearest lady :) Have wonderful times..always :D

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Your Holiday writing triggers works great -- reading your hints, it immediately sparked several 'memories' of my own. Now I'm anxious to get out some photos and write down the memories associated with them!

    • JenaleeMortensen profile image

      JenaleeMortensen 5 years ago

      What a great idea to encourage us to write our memories. Holidays are full of memories--sometimes good and sometimes bad. Our life stories wouldn't be complete without holiday memories. I've been trying to write my memories, but I do need reminders. Thanks for your reminders in this lens.

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 5 years ago from McLaughlin

      I haven't started writing memories yet--because I am trying to write online and doing Squidoo!!! I love your writing prompts! I can't believe you have 349 lens--I am in awe!

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