Putting the Thanks in Thanksgiving

I love the holidays.  There is nothing better than family getting together and sharing stories.  Thanksgiving is like the Super Bowl of family stories.  Some of these stories are true and some are just family folklore, but all of it brings us together.

These stories are a treasure, so why not use them for a Christmas present?

Okay…so you’re probably wondering how.  To start, you’ll need to get the stories.  You can do this one of two ways.  You can come in with a list of questions to ask everyone and then compile the stories from that.  The second option, which is my personal favorite, is just to listen.  I’ve always found that people love telling their story.  It can be one simple question that leads to hours and hours of storytelling.  What better way to spend the time up to the big meal than talking with your family?

(How you record the stories at the time is up to you.  You can use your phone to actually record your family members, or just have pen and paper and jot down some things that you can come back to later)

So…you have the stories…now how do you turn them into a Christmas present?  For me, the simplest way is to turn them into a memory book.  Now I’m not talking about a biography of your family members.  Just get a small journal from Target, Walmart, or somewhere like that.  It can be lined or unlined…there are no rule!  Get some markers and stickers and go to town!  Use a page to tell a specific story.  You can even get kids involved and have them decorate the pages.  What better way to give a family member a gift than to have all kinds of family member participate?!

My best advice on making memory books for your family members is just to have fun!  Even if you’re not 100% sure on the truth of the story, that’s okay.  (I know, as a genealogist we’re always looking for truth).  The main goal is to show your family members that their stories matter and are important to the future of the family!

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope your day is full of family, food, and fun!

 

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