Capturing Your Family Legacy This Holiday Season

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The holidays are a great time to get together with family, but there is an even more important reason to see your extended family this season. You never know how much time you have left with them, and you want to capture the essence of their lives, stories, and life lessons while you still can.

This can be a great way to pass some of your family legacy onto your children, but how can you convince your family to share their stories with you?

Family Legacy: a family cheers with their glasses around the dinner tableAs moms, we tend to get caught up in the moment and don’t always think about the deep and lasting impact these small moments have on us. One day they will slip away from us, so we need to be proactive in caring about the legacy our loved ones leave behind. Plus, showing how crucial these stories are will set a great example for kids as they learn to value the perspective of others.

Here are a few tips to help you capture the magic of your family this holiday season.

Capturing Family Legacy Stories This Year

1. Transform Stories Into Book Format

As a writer, I’m always thinking about my very next story. But what if that next story was a true tale from a grandparent or even a great-grandparent? Who doesn’t love the idea of having a book written about them?

The good news is that you can do this quickly and easily simply by recording your conversation with your loved ones. All you need is your smartphone and a voice recording app set up on the table between the two of you so that it can capture your words.

From here, you have a couple of options: you can edit it and type it into story format or you can use transcription services to type it up for you (Rev is a great option).

Next, you can have the book bound on Amazon’s print-on-demand service and hand it out to your family members as a Christmas gift next year. This makes gift-giving easier and more meaningful while you also benefit from preserving these stories – a real win-win if you ask me!

2. Make Scrapbooks

How many times do we snap a picture with our smartphones and then promptly forget about it? Only when we take the time to browse through our phones do we come across hidden gems that we had long forgotten. It might be time to start capturing the day-to-day moments with your loved ones in photos and actually get them printed out.

Compile pictures from your entire family on a shared Google Drive. Make sure everyone has access to it and participates in sharing their photos. At the end of the year, you can compile them all in a photobook on sites like Shutterfly and have a hard copy that you (or your kids) can flip through when you miss family throughout the year.

This is a great strategy for keeping far-flung families in sync with each other beyond social media.

3. Prepare in Advance

The most successful interviewers know that their material doesn’t likely come off the cuff. Prepare before the holidays arrive by compiling a list of questions that get the heart of the experiences your loved ones may have had. You can ask questions about:

  • Family history
  • Career achievements
  • Best moments or highlights of their life
  • Educational experiences
  • Free time and hobbies
  • Religious views
  • Important life events like wedding memories or significant birthdays

Don’t be afraid to deviate from your list of questions and ask follow-ups to get to the heart of your loved one’s story and experiences!

Your family may not be around forever, but their stories can last for generations to come. If you find that you don’t know much about grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even friends who are more like family, it might be time to consider speaking up and asking questions.

With some of these tips and tools, you will be able to share priceless family legacy stories with your loved ones this holiday season!

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Ashley Simpson
Ashley Simpson is a freelance writer and book coach, helping people to tell authentic and true stories that come from the heart. She has been married to her high school sweetheart, Parker, for the past 10 years and just gave birth to her first biological child, Jasper. Prior to this, they were foster parents for several years and have had close to a dozen teens through their home – some for longer than others. When she isn’t writing or drinking coffee, you will find her at the barn with her horse or with her nose buried in a book.

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