For Christmas this year, we here at FamilySearch want to do something special. We want to gather family Christmas stories and publish them on the FamilySearch blog. We hope to share stories from many diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives. Thank you for being willing to share your stories!
Here are some of the things we would like you to tell us about:
- Your best family Christmas experience
- Memorable and meaningful family Christmas experiences
- The best gift you received for Christmas
Here are some guidelines for what we are looking for in submitted stories:
- 200–400 words in length
- Focused on family experiences
- Information on your family traditions when possible
- Uplifting stories
- Writing understandable to the general public
What better day is there to gather families than Christmas? In your stories, feel free to share funny anecdotes, family history experiences, or whatever else has brought you joy on Christmas Day. Here is an example:
My family’s Christmas tradition was different than most people’s. In my family, no one can open presents until everyone was done eating breakfast. I still remember when I was young staring my dad in the eyes as he slowly made his way through the fresh crepes and ham. He chuckled as he chewed, knowing that I was willing him to eat faster. It didn’t work.
Once Dad finally finished his meal, my parents would make us all go back up the stairs and wait until the video camera was recording. Then each of us would come down the stairs one by one to open our first few gifts. This was done in order by age, youngest to oldest. Soon enough we were all down the stairs, and then we could all dig into the other presents that were under the tree.
As the years went by, things grew more difficult. My mom became sick, and my dad lost his job. This put a lot of strain on all of us. Christmas was a bit different for us those years.
Soon enough I left home for two years, serving the wonderful people of Mexico. It was a wonderful experience living in Mexico, but I missed having Christmas at home. And I worried how my family would do while I was gone. That time was perhaps the most challenging time for my family.
The most meaningful Christmas I’ve had was just a few weeks after I returned from Mexico. Only recently had my mom begun to heal after years of being sick. My dad had also found a job. That Christmas, my younger brother and I decided to reverse roles on our parents. We helped with breakfast and ate extra slowly, talking about life and sharing jokes and stories from my Christmases spent in Mexico.
We then made Mom and Dad go up the stairs and started recording them, cheering as they came down to open their presents. We laughed and smiled through it all. To be honest, I don’t remember what the gifts were that year. What I remember most is how we all expressed just how much family meant to us and how grateful we were to be together. Through hugs and tears I realized that year that the reason we did Christmas differently was because the greatest gift that year was being together as a family.
We will review all submissions and choose some to be posted on the blog. We will remove specific names and identifiers, according to the submitter’s desire. We also may trim the stories you share or change wording or structure in order to best serve our blog audience.
Share your family Christmas story with us below. We are grateful again for your participation and look forward to being inspired by your family Christmas stories.