The holidays offer a multitude of opportunities. You can spend time with your family, get caught up on cleaning, laundry, bills, or even get a jump start on holiday shopping. Oh, and how can I forget decorating! Pulling out the boxes from the closest or under the bed with trinkets and ornaments to be displayed while listening to Christmas music.
It’s hard to pick just one thing that I like to do over a holiday break. Mostly because I like to do them all, yes even laundry. I’m a sucker for being productive. Plus, I love the smell of clean laundry. And with no heat over the holidays in our apartment, doing laundry was another way for us to generate heat. But, I digress to what will be my main point :).
My favorite memory from this Thanksgiving holiday was talking with my parents about our history, how my parents or grandparents came to America and to Chicago. As an inquisitive high school student in need of a history paper, I went to my mom who immigrated to the US when she was nine. Since then, my parents have gradually told me more about how my mom’s and dad’s family landed in Chicago.
Mom has an interesting story. She came to America only knowing two words, chocolate and tea. Not bad to start. This year she talked more about her childhood growing up on a farm that was a former air field in Germany and her long walk to school. We talked about World War II a lot. We touched on my grandfather and great uncles involvement in World War II and what happened afterwards. I found it fascinating to hear how the family stayed in touch during the war without all the technology we have today. Let’s just say they couldn’t exactly check-in on Facebook where they were. My dad even shared stories of when his grandfather came over to America from Sweden. They came to America on a boat second class and made a good life in Chicago.
There is still so many stories to be told on both sides. I know my mom still has a few more memories from the farm to share as does my dad about his grandparents and childhood. My future mother-in-law made a wonderful suggestion of video taping or recording the stories. That way we have a permanent record. Plus my parents can tell their story over and over to future generations. Isn’t that a fantastic idea? Do you know your family’s history and the stories? I know next time I ask I’ll be recording!