Everyone has a favorite holiday. Christmas or Forth of July… Labor Day or Thanksgiving... Holidays like these bring families together, with the fun (and stress!) that brings with it. This year, if you’re worried about people fighting about politics, or wondering how to get your mother-in-law out of your kitchen, consider a new activity: telling family stories.
It’s easy to start the conversation. Once you get it going, it’ll take on a life of its own. Here are a few suggestions on how to kick it off:
Favorite stories: Ask for a retelling of one of your favorite stories. Others will have similar requests and it will quickly generate a fun group discussion—especially if relatives remember the story differently!
Focus on family history: Ask the older generation about family history. From the basics, like “how was your childhood different than your grand kids’?” to “tell us about when
Grandpa Pete came to America” this kind questioning often delivers engaging tales for audiences of all ages.
Kick it off yourself: Tell a story that is meaningful to you, and say why it is.
Extra credit: If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, record the conversations. Most smartphones have a record function or you can download a recording app. This will allow you to save and share the stories with other family members and, of course, for future generations.
Holidays and family get-togethers give us the opportunity to learn about each other and our family. So don't let another holiday or family gathering go by without launching a storytelling activity. Take advantage of the present!
I wish you the very best this holiday season, and a happy and healthy 2019.