The Best Holiday Gifts are Stories

photo of pink crocheted bear and gift box

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! 

  1. Brainstorm a list of favorite family stories, the ones that must be passed on.
  2. Tell one of those stories.
  3. Bonus points if you record it.  
  4. Interview your oldest family members. 
  5. Have them identify everyone in their photos. 
  6. 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.) 
  7. Tell stories around a theme or event.  
  8. 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. 
  9. Create a timeline in a shared document and invite family members to add events to it. 
  10. When others ask what you want for a gift, request a story or a photo.  
  11. Share a gift like that.
  12. Feature family stories of resilience. Studies show that these help us get through hard times.
  13. 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.) 
  14. 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? 

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