Coll Writes

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The 642 Things To Write About Challenge: Week 1

Written By: Colleen - Jan• 04•13

642ThingstoWriteAbout-collwritesI was in line at Marshall’s the week before Christmas.  I’m generally not an impulse buyer when I see things while waiting in line, but something really caught my eye this time: a book called “642 Things to Write About” by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.  I was intrigued when I caught the title and well, it was Marshall’s, so it wasn’t exactly a bank-breaking price.  I grabbed it and decided to purchase it without really looking through it.

I’m so glad I got it!  So, essentially it’s just a list of suggested topics to write about.  Some of them have short answers, some of them are actual stories to write, and some of them are to be answered in essay format.  I thought it would be fun to make it a challenge of shorts to try to do it once a week and open it up to anyone who is reading this and wants to maybe play along.  I would absolutely love it if you did.  I guess anyone who wants to get involved in it can just post their own entries in the comments section.  If that isn’t working out, then I’ll come up with a Plan B.

I’ll start with a really easy one: Tell a complete stranger about a beloved family tradition.”

Every year since I was in high school, my family has had a tradition in which every New Year’s Day, we would visit a diner on Long Island (the diner varied) for bunch.  While there, we would write our resolutions for the year on tiny slips of paper, fold them up, and stick them in a Holiday Edition glass Coca-Cola bottle.  This has happened every single year since New Year’s 2000.  In fact, even on years where we’ve had friends visiting, they’ve been invited to participate.  These are resolutions you don’t have to tell anyone or let anyone see.  Even on the years where someone can’t be there for New Year’s Day brunch, you still participate under an “Absentee Ballot” system of sorts.  This year, my mom mailed me the ones Jay & I did last year and we’ll do new ones and mail them back to her.  It may not be the most exciting of traditions, but it’s our tradition, one that we do as a family.

Please feel free to share your beloved family traditions on the comments section.  🙂

I’ll have the next one up in a week.

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  1. Michael says:

    The only family tradition that we’ve kept going of late is heading out to a tree farm for our Christmas tree every year. It used to be Renee, myself, my brother and my dad. It’s gotten a million times better now that our son is part of it. Sadly, my brother stopped coming two years ago because his wife preferred a different place ::cough cough whipped:: but the rest of us continue on. Watching a grandfather and grandson play in the trees and laugh makes the day perfect. Absolutely one of my favorite days of the year.

  2. v says:

    No tradition w my family! I guess i can try to start one

  3. sitakatherine says:

    Something that I’ve done with my kids every year at Christmas is to get in the car one night (the kids in pajamas and with hot cocoa), put on the Christmas music, and drive around looking at the Christmas lights. The kids love to do it every year. We don’t have a particular day we do it, just when we have a chance, but the kids always ask if it’s time to go look at Christmas lights. I think it’s their favorite tradition.

    • Colleen says:

      @Des – We used to do the Christmas lights drive-arounds too! My sisters & I loved it. We did it as a fam until we were all old enough to drive and just drove around on our own anyway to look at them, haha. My dad tried to turn it into a “Christmas Lights Run” one year where we went for a night run with him to look at lights, but it was way cold for that tradition to last more than one year, lol.

  4. Melissa says:

    This is a great idea. I am trying to restart my own blog, and if you don’t mind, I might use your topics as starters for my own posts.

    To share with you, we have lots of tiny traditions, both larger and smaller. A small one that we do involves Disney World. Every trip my husband and I took before we had kids, we’d end our trip with a breakfast at the Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Resort. Once we had kids, we kept the tradition. Now, we mark the end of our vacation with good food and a walk around the Polynesian’s beautiful grounds. It’s both a happy and a sad time because it means we have to go back home and return to the non-pixie dusted world.

    Thanks for asking!
    Melissa

    • Colleen says:

      @Melissa – Thanks, feel free to do it up! 🙂

      That sounds like a really nice tradition, even if it’s a little bittersweet. I love stuff like that.

  5. Jeff in Texas says:

    Before my wife and I had our daughter, we would go buy some fried chicken and drive around looking at Christmas lights and even rate them on an A-F grading scale. We’ve continued that tradition although we’re usually taking pizza instead of chicken lately.
    Another one we’ve been doing for a few years now is watching “The Nativity Story” on Christmas Eve.

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