For my parents’ 50th Anniversary, each member of the family wrote a short reflection on a family memory. We gathered all the memories together in a scrapbook which we presented to our parents at a Golden Anniversary Celebration with loved ones gathered from near and far. The stories ranged from delightfully sentimental to downright hilarious. It really was not until years later that we realized what a wonderful collection of family memories we had created.
Milestone life events often lead to family gatherings which lead to family stories. Stories about weddings, birthdays, holidays, vacations…to name a few. Yet sometimes, it’s the stories of everyday family life that become the most memorable. November is Family Stories Month. Why not take time this month to compile your family stories into a keepsake for posterity? As time passes and the family changes, the collection of memories will be cherished for years to come.
If someone in the family has the creative gene and likes to journal and create scrapbooks, you are in luck! But a decorative box filled with stories and placed on a shelf in the living room can also nicely preserve those memories. Or a digital or electronic journal or scrapbook has the added benefit of easily sharing a copy with everyone in the family. If your family is the minimalist type, a simple list of descriptive phrases might suffice to commence spontaneous ruminations of your uncle’s antics in wizardry, or the time the adults hosted their own wine-tasting or guitar sing-a-longs around the campfire.
The scrapbook for my parents’ anniversary came together as each family member sent their story to one person who spent hours upon hours creating a family heirloom. There really was no plan other than collecting the memories and displaying them together. And it turned out great! If that sounds like it’s your speed, then go for it! Simply reach out to family members and ask them to write a family story to be collected with the others. If you would like to be more intentional, CCPL’s Catalog has a number of resources that can help, including those listed below.