Journaling Through the Holidays 5

Whatever your holiday traditions, the end of the calendar year can overflow with activities, events, family and friends, and with emotions ranging from joy to depression, from relaxed celebration to stressed responsibility. The very busyness of these days may cause us to neglect journaling, to put it aside as nonessential. Yet the holidays are also an excellent time for reflection, of summing up, of turning over one year into the next.

And so it is for me.

In gratitude to all of you for sharing your stories and lives with me throughout the year, I offer the following journaling prompts to keep us all journaling through the holidays. The first five prompts are designed to explore the various feelings we have surrounding this time of year, and the last five to help capture memorable aspects of the holidays for the future.

Exploring Feelings:

  • What do you most love about the year-end holidays, and what childhood associations do you have with these positive feelings?
  • What do you most dread about the holiday season, and why?
  • What experiences from the past influence your expectations for this holiday?
  • Each stage of life brings with it a different perspective. What stage of life are you in, and how does this influence the way you perceive this time of year?
  • What changes have you experienced between now and last year at this time? How do these changes influence the way you experience this year’s holiday season?

Capturing Memories:

  • At the end of each day from December 22nd through the 31st, list five things, positive and/or negative, you want to remember about that day.
  • Play the role of journalist. Write a headline capturing the character of each person with whom you interacted on that day. Have fun with this: make your headlines ironic, silly, full of exaggeration.
  • Use one of the headlines as a prompt and write a scene (real or imagined) depicting an interaction with that person. Capture the essence of his or her personality, gestures, eccentricities, and voice.
  • Write a paragraph describing scents unique to your holiday celebration: include holiday-specific foods, spices in the air, perfumes, and so on. How do these scents encapsulate the holiday for you?
  • What one word sums up the holidays for you? Perform a creative cluster exercise with that word at the center.

I wish you all wonderful, warm days filled with family, friends, and love. And remember: your voice, your memories, your stories are important. Keep on writing.


Do you want to have a regular writing practice and get more out of your journaling? Give yourself the gift of 30 Days to Deeper Journaling, beginning January 2nd. And take advantage of early bird pricing through December 25th.


Photo Credit: Matthias Rhomberg via Compfight cc


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