Wishing you a beautiful holiday season with your loved ones, whether near or far, in-house or online. Meaningful conversations are now the focus! You can turn any family gathering into a story-collecting, memorable event.
Please add your ideas!
- Brainstorm a list of favorite family stories, the ones that must be passed on.
- Tell one of those stories.
- Bonus points if you record it.
- Interview your oldest family members.
- Have them identify everyone in their photos.
- Celebrate one family member or couple and have others tell stories. This can be a tribute or a roast, depending on your family culture and the subject’s feelings. (If you get it wrong, it’s your fault, not mine.)
- Tell stories around a theme or event.
- Start a family dictionary, collecting unique sayings, private jokes or vocabulary, and favorite proverbs that distinguish your family’s dialect. This can be a great way to welcome a new in-law to the family.
- Create a timeline in a shared document and invite family members to add events to it.
- When others ask what you want for a gift, request a story or a photo.
- Share a gift like that.
- Feature family stories of resilience. Studies show that these help us get through hard times. https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/building-resilience/
- Learn from bad examples as well as good ones. Find the humor. (I’m trying to decide whether my great-uncles who rustled cattle from each other qualify as funny.)
- Include ancestors in your gathering. Remember a birthday or celebrate their heritage traditions.
Have you done any of these? How did they turn out? What else would you suggest?