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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Holiday Stories

Some of the more interesting stories we may tell are those that emerge from--or are shared on--the holidays. And as I wrote in the Stories book, by holidays I mean “…the annual occasions—Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Year’s—when, whether you like it or not, the family is gathering and you’re expected to show up.” 

There are also, of course, holiday stories about our friends, who for many of us now stand in for those family who have died or disappeared from our lives.

But no matter how and with whom we spend them, the holidays can’t help but make for good stories.  They are driven by anticipation and expectations, by what we imagine them to be and by what they turn out to be. 

And so each year around this time I offer a workshop in writing both about and for the holidays, personal stories we may want to give as gifts and keepsakes on the holidays.

For example, several of my high school friends and I gather each year at Christmas, and some small gift giving around the festive dinner table is involved, e.g., scented candles, boxes of chocolates, a homemade holiday ornament, even gift cards.

This year, what I'm planning to give everyone is a collection of stories from our high school years, stories I will ask for from each person in advance, edit and organize, then hand to everyone as our "collected high school memories" that night. So while these will not be stories about the holidays, they will be given as keepsakes for the holidays.


If any of my readers are interested in giving some of their personal stories as holiday gifts, you might consider joining this year's workshop.  There is just one space remaining, but we will keep a wait list, and if enough people sign up for that, we can open a second session.

Writing Family Stories: The Holiday Version at Bookends & Beginnings Bookstore in Evanston
Saturday, November 21, 12 to 2 p.m.
This workshop is for people interested in writing family stories—those real-life accounts of the important people, places, and events in their and their family's life. Using a handful of fun and inspiring writing prompts, we'll record several stories to share with friends and family--whether orally or as written gifts and keepsakes-- at upcoming holiday gatherings.
Space is limited to 8 participants; fee is $45. Please pre-register with Carol or contact her for more information at

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