I love getting out my Advent wreath, putting the candles in with bobeches, and lighting the wreath each evening at dinner. When my children were little, we would do a lectionary reading and the candles at breakfast, too.
Advent is a way of making the preparations for Christmas as meaningful as the Christmas season itself.
Leading Family History Web Site Spotlights Members Who Have Discovered Family Connections in Five National Television Ads
PROVO, Utah /PRNewswire/ — Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online resource for family history, will showcase the stories of five Americans who have made amazing family history discoveries through its Web site in My Story, a new advertising campaign launching today. Tapping into the powerful tradition of storytelling, the new campaign seeks to convey the possibilities of discovering yourself through family history and inspire Americans everywhere to dig deeper into their own heritage.
The new campaign will run for at least the next 12 months. The five 15, 30 and 60 second television ads will spotlight Ancestry.com members from across the country and their heartwarming family history connections, including a New Yorker who found answers about a father he wanted to better understand and a woman from Chicago who is opening up a restaurant with a cousin after exploring how far the cooking talent extended in her family tree. The TV spots will appear on popular cable networks and channels such as AMC, CNN, Fox News, History Channel, Lifetime Movie Network and Hallmark, among others.
Each member’s story and TV commercial will be available at Ancestry.com beginning today, and an online campaign featuring a variety of “Who Will You Discover?” banner ads will begin on June 29.
“What is truly amazing is that these miraculous discoveries are happening every day,” said Cheyenne Richards, vice president of marketing, Ancestry.com. “We literally went through thousands of incredible member-submitted stories before we chose these five. That’s the inspiration behind our new My Story campaign – to convey how life-changing a family history discovery can be.”
The new My Story campaign was designed to resonate with all adults, particularly those ages 45 and older. “One’s motivation to discover their heritage tends to grow over time, but curiosity about family history is a basic human desire,” continued Richards. “We expect these new ad spots will inspire people of all ages to learn more about their heritage. It’s very important to us to help people understand how easy it can be to have such a meaningful experience.”
My Story Television Spots
Ancestry.com Creative Director Shawn Perkins worked closely with Director Jeffrey DeChausse at Boxer Films (Los Angeles) to create the five spots. The new television spots feature the following stories:
* A New Yorker Finds Answers about His Father – Alton Woodman (White Plains, N.Y.) never knew much about his dad, who passed away when Alton was just 14 years old. Turning to Ancestry.com, Alton found his father in a 1920 census record as a 14-year-old himself, and discovered that he was attending an orphanage. To help connect the dots, Alton got in touch with a representative from the orphanage and received a package that offered a more complete picture of his father’s childhood.
* One Man Discovers His Great Grandfather was a War Hero – Cary Christopher (Pittsburgh and San Diego) always wondered about his German great grandfather, who disappeared after a short-lived marriage to Cary’s great grandmother ended in divorce. After 40 years of futile searching, Cary discovered his great grandfather in a World War I draft registration card on Ancestry.com. It turned out his great grandfather had immigrated to the United States before World War I, became a U.S. citizen and rose to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Merchant Marines, where he was killed by a torpedo fired by a German submarine during World War II.
* South Florida Man Connects Father to His Own Mother – Jim Lane’s (Key Biscayne, Fla.) father never knew his mother, who died when he was an infant. Through historical records and member connection services on Ancestry.com, Jim discovered relatives who sent him pictures of his grandmother, and for the first time, Jim’s father was able to see a photograph of his mother.
* Chicago Cook Meets Like-Minded Cousin – When caterer Peggy McDowell (Chicago) began researching the cooking talent in her family tree, she had no idea she would end up going into business with a long-lost cousin. Through searching records on Ancestry.com, she connected with her cousin, who also shares her passion for cooking. Together, they’re opening a soul food restaurant in Chicago’s Hyde Park.
* Washington Woman Confirms Father’s Passing – Cathryn Darling (Olympia, Wash.) had many unanswered questions about her father, who had disappeared when she was eight years old after her parent’s divorce. After searching obituary records on Ancestry.com, Cathryn learned her father died as a fisherman while at sea in Oregon in 1970, and she recently held a memorial service in his honor.
Ancestry.com recently announced that its members have added more than 1 billion people to more than 10 million user-generated family trees on the site since the tree-building and -sharing tools debuted in July 2006. For more information, or to build your family tree, visit www.ancestry.com.
About Ancestry.com and The Generations Network
The Generations Network, Inc., through its flagship Ancestry.com property, is the world’s leading resource for online family history. Ancestry.com has localized sites directed at nine countries. Since July 2006, Ancestry.com users have created 10 million family trees containing 1 billion profiles and 20 million photographs and stories. The Generations Network also includes myfamily.com, Genealogy.com, Rootsweb.ancestry.com, MyCanvas.com, dna.ancestry.com, Family Tree Maker and Ancestry Magazine. More than 8.7 million unique visitors spent over 4.2 million hours on a TGN website in April 2009 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide).
I made a friend really mad about 20 years ago, because when my son asked me about Santa Claus, I explained about St. Nicholas, Bishop of of Myra. And then, in Sunday School the next weekend, he told her son that, “Santa Claus is dead, and in heaven. And he’s a saint, like Saint Thomas.”
I don’t think my friend ever really got over it, but I’m still glad that I told my son the truth about where we get this over-commercialized, sometimes creepy “Santa Claus” image in popular culture today. St. Nicholas is much more interesting than the fat guy who drinks Coca-Cola.
Known for generosity, St. Nicholas suffered imprisonment of the faith and he was present at the Council of Nicaea where the Nicene Creed began.
Where St. Nicholas is prominent, his feast day, December 6, not Christmas, is the primary gift giving day. Parties may be held on the eve, December 5, and shoes or stockings left for St. Nicholas to fill during the night. Children will find treats of small gifts, fruit or nuts, and special Nicholas candies and cookies. St. Nicholas gifts are meant to be shared, not hoarded for oneself.
He is the patron saint of pawn brokers and one of his symbols is the three golden balls seen hanging at many pawn shops. This arises from the story that he helped pay the dowry of three poor maidens, by dropping gold down the chimney, into the stockings hanging on the mantle to dry. This is also where we get our stocking tradition.
In the stocking, an orange or tangerine in the toe represents this gift of gold, the candy cane represents his bishop’s crosier, and the “midnight visit” a reminder that St. Nicholas wanted to give in secret, so that people would thank God for blessings.
In the west, he is a special patron saint of children, along with St. Christopher. In Greece, he is a patron saint of sailors and ships. He is the patron saint of Russain merchants, bakers, brewers, maidens, and more. There are more churches named for him than almost any other saint.
In Ukraine, St. Nicholas is a special saint, for it was Prince Vladimir who brought back tales of the saint after he went to Constantinople to be baptized. The Ukrainian prince Vsevolod Yaroslavych introduced the feast of St. Nicholas during the time of Pope Urban II (1088-99 AD). St. Nicholas’ Day was a time of great fun in Ukraine. On this day, people would invite guests in and sleighs would be ridden around the village to see if the snow was slippery [icy]. This was the holiday for young children, for they would receive gifts from St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children. “St. Nicholas” was often accompanied by “angels” and might have quizzed the children on their catechism. St. Nicholas Day, not Christmas, is the usual gift-giving day in much of Europe including Ukraine, although for Christmas it was the custom of all members in the family to get a new article of clothing.
In Great Britain, St. Nicholas visits on his feast day, and sometimes a boy is appointed to play the role of “bishop” for the day.
I wish for everyone a happy and blessed St. Nicholas Day!
Today, I got into my cedar chest to pull out the hand-made quilts we have from my husband’s grandmother. There were five all together. I’ve already given my children one each for use in their homes now that they are grown and gone. Three are now in the guest rooms waiting for loved ones. These quilts are among the heirlooms I pull out for November and December, when it can get a little chilly here in the Panhandle. Mostly, though, I pull these quilts out because of wanting to see and remember the years and and the family traditions.
I always tell the children the origin of the quilts, and I know they are not listening. That’s OK. I believe it’s sinking into their subconscious, maybe even their DNA.
Other heirlooms include the Christmas ornaments my mother gave the family, the ones I still give to my children (a new one each year, sometimes hand made, sometimes “store bought” but always with some significance about that year), the ones the children made when they were young, and the ones friends have given us over the years.
Also, certain traditions come out as well. An Advent Calendar and anAdvent Wreath come out the first Sunday in Advent, but the “Christmas” decorations have to wait for later in the month. Then, it’s angels, angels everywhere.
My mother’s recipe for toffee squares and cheese straws and my recipe for cranberry-orange relish get made as often as necessary.
I think this year, I will try to write down each tradition, as I go through them, because some have become automatic. I need to record and document what we do and why, for future generations. Where the decorations came from and when. What each one means to me. I hope that 100 years from now, that will mean something to my (at this moment imaginary) descendants.
Note: Next week, only two blog entries. Going to Kentucky for more traditions!
For both Mark and myself, the bellsouth.net addresses are suspended, because now we’re with mchsi.com. If you try to send something to the bellsouth.net addresses, it will bounce. Our AOL addresses are still good!
Busy day today, including the ribbon cutting at The Blake, a new assisted living facility in Gulf Breeze/Midway. One of the owners said that the new facility was built because he wants to help families retain and build relationships across generations.
I’m wondering. Is picking a woman as your vice presidential running mate the way a candidate Jumps the Shark? I hope not. I hope picking a female running mate doesn’t guarantee it’s all downhill from here.
Ferraro, a savvy politician, was Walter Mondale’s running mate in 1984. The choice of Ferraro was a gamble, as no female had been on a major party’s top ticket before, but Mondale was 16 points behind Ronald Reagan, so he was reaching for a bump. After her selection, polling was “dead even.” However, in November, Mondale/Ferraro lost in an electoral landslide.
We have the opposite situation here: A very close race, and the choice of a woman for Vice President is supposed to give McCain a bump to clinch the lead and keep it. Palin is little known on the national stage. Even though she’s young, and has been governor for only two years, she’s probably more competent than he imagines, probably smarter, deeper and stronger than he thinks, but I believe all he sees is the gender issue: reach out to the disappointed supporters of Hilary Clinton. It’s cynical of me, but I think he’s chosen her strictly for that reason. If he wanted a woman of proven competence, he might have at least looked at Elizabeth Dole.