Season’s Greetings and Thank You

The winter solstice has passed, and so every day will bring more light.  We sure do need it this time of year.  The lights added by Hanukkah and Christmas—the candles and the trees—help us all to see beyond the darkness and the cold.  And so I wish for all of you a season of lights and a time to find joy and hope and happiness.

I also want to express my gratitude for all the help I’ve received this past year. I cannot express adequately how grateful I am to those cousins who shared family photographs and letters and writings so that I could see the faces behind the names I’d researched, read their own words, and get a real feel for the personality of the individuals whose lives I described.  Thank you to Ron, Steve, Sue, Lisa, Celena, Gordon, Ashley, Tracy, Ginger, Sharon and Ezra, Trisha, Maxine, and all the others who shared photographs, stories, letters, and memories of their family members.  I hope we all get to meet in person someday soon.

Empire State Building exhibiting decorative li...

Empire State Building exhibiting decorative lights for both Chanukah and Christmas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My cousin Wolfgang continued to discover and share with me information about my Seligmann ancestors and their families, which led me to the memoirs of Mathilde Gross Mayer, which inspired me to start learning German.  I am so looking forward to going to Germany and meeting Wolfgang and his family and testing my German.

I also am deeply appreciative for all the help I’ve gotten from the members of numerous genealogy Facebook groups and from my fellow genealogy bloggers.  Whether it’s helping with research or translation or reading and commenting (and finding errors) on my blog, the genealogy village continues to amaze me with its generosity and dedication.

Looking ahead to 2017, we must continue to do what we can to protect those who are most vulnerable in this country and across the world.  Looking backwards as much as I do, I’ve seen what small-mindedness, prejudice, selfishness, and greed can do to a person, a family, a society.  As we anticipate 2017, we still need to learn from the past so that we can ensure the best future for everyone and for our world.

On that note, I wish you all a joyous holiday season—whatever holiday you may be celebrating.  I find it particularly sweet that this year the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve coincide as if the universe is telling us we all came from one source and whatever rituals or traditions or beliefs we have, in the end all that matters is that we honor and respect and love each other despite those differences.  May 2017 be a peaceful and healthy and happy year for everyone!





35 thoughts on “Season’s Greetings and Thank You

  1. Thank you for this lovely thoughtful post Amy. I read your line “Looking backwards as much as I do, I’ve seen what small-mindedness, prejudice, selfishness, and greed can do to a person, a family, a society …” and it just gelled with so much that I have been thinking. I am so grateful for your online friendship, support of my projects and wisdom. This year in particular it has been so good to know that one is not alone in belief and values. I wish you and yours much joy during the festive season, and peace, strength and fulfilment into the future. Cheers, Su.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Su, for your kind and thoughtful response. It is amazing to me how we can find these connections through cyberspace with people from all different backgrounds living all over the world. If only we could spread that feeling to everyone, the world would be a much more peaceful and happy place. Have a wonderful Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Amy, I have been inspired by your blogs and wish you every bit of luck with your further research. With so much change globally in what has been a momentous year, let us all hope for peace and stability in 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew. ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
    ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

    May this spirit touch us all no matter what our beliefs are. I hope we all find peace for ourselves and the ability to pass it on to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amy~ Following your families journey this year has been one of the highlights during my week. I anxiously look for your blog to post to learn who and what has happened next. Your writing style has drawn me in and as you know helped inspire me to begin my own journey of blogging my family. Thank you for the amount of time and effort you have put into making your past generations come alive, for me, for your family now and for those to come. Thank you too for all the encouragement with my blog, it has opened up a whole new way of organizing my genealogical research. Happy Chanukah to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sharon, I am very touched by your kind words. I always enjoy your comments on my blog, and I am really enjoying your blog. I am glad you are finding blogging to be a valuable part of genealogy work. For me, it really forces me to see the big picture, the forest beyond the trees. Have a wonderful Hanukkah!


  5. Additonally – I too had noted the convergence of Hanukkah and Christmas this year – partly because as I continue to delve deeper into my family’s past, I learn more about my Sephardic Jewish ancestors in my matrilineal line. Lovely to celebrate both my heritages…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Have a blessed Hannukah, Amy. I hope the coming together with your family and friends over this holiday will rekindle not only the love and strength of past relationships but renew those ties for the future. It’s Christmas Eve here in DC and the peace, solitude and positive feeling around Adams Morgan is a welcome change for me. Here’s to going forward in strength and confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful words, Amy.
    2016 has been such a tough year. I really hope for a better year for all of us.

    Hey, after studing it at school and leaving it for many years, this year I started studing German again too. It’s a beautiful language.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy Holidays to you and your family. I hope you enjoy the season especially with the grandchildren and have a wonderful year in 2017. Love to all! Joann, Zach and Jessie

    Liked by 1 person

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