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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

I’d like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season!

As someone who celebrates Christmas, I enjoy sitting before the lit tree with family members drinking hot cocoa or eggnog. It means so much to be together talking. We spend so much of our lives texting, in front of the computer or running off to our next appointment. We need this quiet time together.

There are traditions that each family follow and I’ve enjoyed becoming a part of my husband’s family’s traditions. For example, they buy a large and sturdy tree that allows them to literally put the presents between the branches. The tree becomes the gift. They also have ornaments from almost everywhere they have traveled together. My husband and I liked this tradition so much that we started to do it ourselves. We love to decorate our tree and remember the places we’ve gone, from New York City’s Rockefeller Center to Mackinaw Island.  

My family opens some presents on Christmas Eve after a large dinner and then the rest before breakfast (but after coffee!) on Christmas morning. Usually there is a fire going and we listen to Italian Christmas records. I always look forward to Christmas breakfast with bagels, lox, cream cheese and eggs.

What is your favorite part of the holidays?

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Want to write your honey a poem for the holidays but you don’t know what to write about? A free writing brainstorming exercise will solve that problem.

 

Free writing exercises usually involve pen, paper, time and a writing prompt or two to get you started. The rules are simple. Find a quiet space and work for as long as you can. Even if you work on the poem for twenty minutes a day, you’ll have something soon enough.

 

Then, choose your own prompt or one below. Write, write, write for five to ten minutes. Do not stop writing, even if you suddenly feel empty of ideas. You can repeat the phrase, “I have nothing to write” until something comes to you. Don’t give spelling or grammar any mind.

 

Repeat this a few times. When you read over your work, take a pen and underline the phrases or ideas that are most interesting to you. You’ll find that you now have something to focus on in your writing.

 

Here are some prompts to get you started:

 

Describe a tradition the two of you have developed over the holidays.

What is your favorite food to eat together over the holidays?

How do you imagine future holidays together?

What is your favorite childhood memory from this time of year?

What has your love told you about holiday childhood memories?

 

You will probably find that you stray from the prompt. That’s ok – they are there to get you started.

 

After you have some underlined ideas from your free writing, choose one and focus on that idea. If you find that you aren’t sure where to take the idea, a good trick is to use the journalist’s questions to think of different angles (who, what, where, when, why and how.)

 

I guarantee that you’ll be happily surprised by all the ideas you’ve generated in just ten minutes of writing.

 

Advice:

Writing takes time, both to think about your ideas and to complete the writing, revising and editing processes. Give yourself that time by spreading out your work over a few days. Your brain will be working on your ideas when you are doing other things, even laundry and sleeping!

 

Feel free to use the comments section to add to this list of prompts. If you are looking for books with prompts and more suggestions, I would recommend Natalie Goldberg: http://www.nataliegoldberg.com/books.html. I particularly like her book Writing Down the Bones.

 

I’d love to read your poems and offer feedback. You are welcome to post them here or email them to me: ChloeMiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

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