Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Give the Gift of Your Family Story

Giving gifts can be challenging when money is tight.  You want to make sure you give a gift that will be useful and appreciated.  Giving a gift that isn't needed and won't be used is no fun for the giver or the receiver.  Of course, just the fact that someone wanted to give a gift to you is a gift.  We should always appreciate gifts that are given to us even if they aren't useful.

Giving a gift of your family's story can be a way to give a useful gift.  The gift might not be as appreciated at the present time as you may like, but it has a way of increasing in value.  After my sister's death, I valued anything she had written such as entries on a calendar of what she had done.  Many of her belongings became valuable to me and I have hung on to them for all these years.  I have so many questions I would ask my parents if they were still alive.  I would love to ask my grandparents and my great grandparents questions about their lives.  When I learn more about their lives, I learn more about my own.  I begin to see answers to why I am the way I am from things I learn about them.  I hope sharing family stories with my daughters will help them understand themselves more as well as learn about their ancestors.

You probably wouldn't have time to give a completed biography of every one of your ancestors (unless you've been working on it for a long time already) as a gift to each of your family members this year, but you can give a little bit of your family story.  You can give photos.  You can create an album or a scrapbook.  You can create a video with photos.  You can do a video interview of an older family member.  You can copy audio or video recordings with family members who have passed away.  You can write down some stories from your family and add related photos to the stories.  You can share a favorite recipe from a family member.  Some of these things would cost very little to share.  Others would take more of an investment mostly of time, but each could be a unique gift that may be treasured for years.

Consider sharing your family story as a special Christmas gift this year.

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