I have just read a great post on the Association of Personal Historians’ page about what people can do over the festive season to engage with their families.
Here are their five major tips:
- Collect family recipes and the stories that go with them
- Collect family stories and photos about the holidays
- Start a family facebook to share stories and photos
- Photograph special momentos and record their stories
- Ask about family members who died before you were born.
I’d like to add one to their list. Ask one of your family elders to prepare three stories about their life when they were a child, and then do a recording when the whole family is present, perhaps before or during your Christmas lunch or dinner. This spotlight might be daunting at first, but once your precious elder gets going, they will love sharing with their memories with a loving and supportive family. They will also love answering the questions that will follow from all generations present.
Another enjoyable idea is to go around the table and ask everyone to tell the story of their favourite Christmas when they were a child. Suggest that they also include how old they were and why that Christmas was so special.