Thanksgiving Dinner with a Side of Family Stories
November is Family Stories Month, and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to celebrate! Start a new tradition by sharing family stories around the table to learn, connect, reminisce and make new memories with your loved ones.
So instead of discussing the weather, or worse — politics — at your feast, bring everyone closer with some family stories, wisdom and legacies.
A little preparation goes a long way
Instead of jumping into a discussion cold turkey (no pun intended), consider prompts or questions to help ease the process and get the conversation going.
- Where did grandma meet grandpa?
- What were mom and dad like as kids?
- Who was your brother’s childhood hero?
- What was your great uncle’s first job?
- Where was your most memorable vacation?
- Growing up, what was best part of everyone’s Thanksgiving?
Some relatives may talk their way through dessert. But others may be more reserved, giving only brief answers. Encourage the conversation with follow-up questions.
Hold onto the memories
As you’re storytelling this holiday, be sure to capture them for yourselves and future generations. Here are some ideas:
- Write them down. Assign someone at the table to record the old-fashioned way — with a pen and paper.
- Take photos for a scrap book/memory book. Images can be a treasure to accompany handwritten family stories.
- Make an audio recording. Pull out your iPhone or other recording device to document the conversation.
- Take a video. Set up any visual recording device to relive the memories of your new tradition.
If you’re connecting with some family members virtually, record those gatherings too, via platforms like Zoom or Skype.
However you choose to preserve them, sharing family stories can help make Thanksgiving Day more memorable and meaningful for years to come.
Writing your next chapter
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