November is Family Stories Month, according to the many national-day calendars out there. While I do believe that every month is for celebrating families, why not use this day to show you ways to share family stories? Depending on your own family circumstances, you can tweak these ideas easily to work for you.
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Each family is unique, and each family has its own dynamics, but at its core, each family has one common thread that makes it family. Since we all know what that common thread is, I am going to go ahead and share with you….
4 Fantastic Ways to Share Family Stories
Write a Book
Yes, as straightforward as that! Turn your family’s story into a story book; add family trees, photographs, memories and quotes from family members, list of favorite “anythings,” and more. You can make it specific and focus on an individual – maybe write the story of your dad as the hero of the story, or your parents love story. Or you can write about a far flung ancestor, or use the concept of seven degrees of separation or some other similar idea, and write about that.
Or you could write a cookbook instead, and have family members share their own versions of favorite recipes (created by them or passed on over generations). Make sure to include backstories and photos (not just of the food but also the cooks).
Or simply create a photo book that tells a story. You can choose to include text boxes with quotes and such to add context.
Have a Family Blog
Create a website for all your family members to share. Everyone can add their own memories, photos, and what-nots to it and it automatically becomes a treasure for all. You can keep it private to only your family and keep adding new members as and when needed.
You could always go ahead and compile these into a cool family story book 🙂 (back to square one, so to say!)
How About a Movie?
If you have a family story book, you could possibly take it up another notch (or skip the book part fully if you wish) and make a family movie. You could use photos and video snippets along with family stories already collected to make a movie. Have a theme ready in mind before you start lest you get overwhelmed.
Make it a Game
Come up with a family playing cards set, with photographs of family members on the cards, and quotes or memories. Or you could create a matching card game, similar to Go Fish. If you are up for it, create a cool board game too.
In addition, you could also create treasure hunt or scavenger hunt ideas for use at family reunions, and expand it as the years go.
- A song album: If you have songsters and singers in your family, use the stories to create lyrics and sing along! You could make it a cool video and/or just have audio recordings. I know I cherish the few song recording
- A favorites playlist: Have everyone send out their favorite song and create a playlist to share online.
- Create a calendar of family events and send one out to everyone, or send a digital copy so they can print it out. Personalize it, add birthdays and anniversaries of course along with other significant events like graduations or moving to a new home and such. Don’t forget to include quirky family occurrences that are unique to your family. You can also choose to remember the days loved ones who are no longer with you died.
- Map your family! If you are anything like my family, you most likely have cousins, uncles, and aunts, and various other family members spread across the globe. Maybe you have someone on the space station too!! You can get yourself a scratch-off map – to mark places you have visited – and instead use it to mark places where you have relatives.
- Make a family tree. Get creative and make a beautiful family tree. You can choose to expand and go far back a few generations (as much as you know) and/or across cousins four or five degrees or more. You can also get premade templates that you can fill in. For example, the one below looks very cool…
Ideas on How to Create and Collect Stories
- During family gatherings (or make it virtual too), set out a bowl of prompts. Have everyone pick one prompt and share a memory or answer the question, depending on the prompt. Include questions that talk about family members no longer with you.
- Interview the elders in the family, and make sure you have both generic questions as well as specific ones you would love them to answer ready. Ensure you record the conversation for prpoerty. What kind of car did they drive when they were a teenager? What kind of music did they listen to? Really stop and listen to them. Soak in this time you have together. If you have children, pull them into the conversation.
- Get out those old photo albums and look over them together. You never know what memories they will bring back, and even better what questions they will prompt from younger ones!
- Share fun facts – maybe even just one – about different family members, and go around the table (or virtual round table) so each of you gets a chance to do so.
- Start new traditions with family – both your very own, and those far away. With the digital age, so much is possible!
For a list of possible questions (that I will update as I go), you can download this pdf here.
- How to Live our Legacy Everyday So We Leave One
- Life is Like That – Full of Magical Moments
- In Memory Of
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, every family and every person has a story to tell. Stories are our bond to each other, regardless of how far away across time or geographies. Family stories are in their own way like heirlooms, ones to be cherished and treasured for ages. So go ahead and write your family stories, be it a book or just a chapter. Get started and share it with others.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post, and recommendations and suggestions are welcome too, as always!
12 thoughts on “4 Fantastic Ways to Share Family Stories”
Love the memory prompt idea and interviewing elders! Enjoy going though family albums and sharing fun facts:)
I really love these ideas! My grandparents are 85 and 92… still very cognitively intact… trying to figure out how to incorporate them in this!
I love these ideas. They’re all so unique and special!
This is a lovely post! I always think about ways to share my daughters’ stories with them. Writing a book is high on my list!
These are great ideas to share your family stories. Aside from photo albums, we are also talking with our elders to share our family stories. Thank you!
I love the idea of a book to write down favorite moments and past stories.
Writing a book sounds like a fantastic idea, I love that! Thanks for sharing all of these.
I love this. I try to write down as much things as possible so my daughter can always remember and be able to share our experiences.
Yes!! This is why I love writing and sharing our family adventures on our blog.
Love the idea of creating a blog for all the family! What a great was to stay up to date with family that live far away!
I would like to try the movie idea. Sounds really cool. Or maybe a book.
These are all great ideas. I especially like writing a book and starting a blog where all the family members can contribute.