Collect Family Stories

The holiday season is here. Can you believe it? This year, make it extra special. Collect family stories.

Holiday times create a combination of good times, good food, and good stories. How many times have you heard a relative tell the same story? You know exactly how the punch line goes and you’re sure you’ll never forget it. Well, wait a few years. When that storyteller is no longer around and the story starts to fade you will be surprised how quickly the familiar story is forgotten.

How many wonderful family stories have gone undocumented over the years? Do you take your family history for granted not realizing that the “things” of your family can be wiped out very quickly? When Hurricane Katrina wiped out most of New Orleans, many of my family members fell victim to that hard truth. Family artifacts were wiped out in a 24 hour period. Several family members are still displaced and material things that were expected to pass from generation to generation are long gone.

But, we still have stories. Now the stories include tragedy and triumph over a natural disaster. The family history has changed. But the ability to engage in the sharing of legacy can’t be erased as long as the stories are shared and recorded.

Have you started writing your family memoirs? Do you record those stories that you think will be with you forever? What is that one story that you hear every holiday gathering? Write it out. Then be sure to have it with you during the holidays to see if you got all of the details correct.