Writing Tip — The Gift of Writing

giftw-3587240_1280As I wrap up November’s theme of food and family, I wanted to remind you of a special gift you can give to your loved ones for Christmas: your writing.

I wrote about this last Christmas, so click here to revisit that post. In post for other holidays, I’ve talked about giving gifts of poetry and family stories.

My new idea this year is to write a family cookbook with stories. Each person who contributes a recipe should also write a short story about food to go with it. For example, my mom’s mom had a tradition of serving fried oysters for Christmas dinner. If I included the fried oyster recipe in a cookbook, I would write up the story of how my dad had to buy them each year. To get the freshest oysters possible, my dad would go to the fish market in Wheeling, West Virginia, on Christmas Eve. Wheeling has a large Italian community, and seafood is the traditional way to celebrate Christmas in Italian families. My dad said he did not want to get in the way of an Italian grandmother and her seafood order.

Stories like that will make a family cookbook even more precious.

Have you given someone the gift of your writing for Christmas? What did you give?

Writing Tip — Writing Gifts

christmasw-1785510_1280If you are considering giving someone a piece of your writing as a gift, now is the time to begin working on it. You want to have plenty of time to polish and refine whatever piece, poetry or prose, you want to give.

In my posts for giving gifts at Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I offered suggestions and tips for different styles of writing. Last Christmas, I described writing down holiday disasters for posterity.

This Christmas, if you are feeling ambitious, I recommend keeping a journal of all the holiday related activities you do. If your journal is messy, like mine, polish your entries and transfer them into a form you can give away. If you have children, and their grandparents live far away, this gift is an especially meaningful gift.

If you feel extraordinarily ambitious, and like to have very long-term goals, you can keep a journal of what your kids do each Christmas, and then give them a compilation of these  journals when they are old enough to appreciate it.

But as I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, no matter what writing you do

Edit it!

You only want to give your best efforts.

Have you ever given a gift of writing to someone? If so, what was it?

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