Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holidays: Best Time To Collect Memories

Okay, the holidays have arrived. Since the end of October we have celebrated Halloween, Day of the Dead, and Veteran’s Day. In the immediate future, we have Thanksgiving, followed by Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, and News Year’s Day. This is truly the time for the family to gather and share memories.

This is truly the perfect time for collecting more information for family history and genealogy. With the family visiting, now is the time to sit down and collect the details about missing members of the family tree. Who out there remembers Aunt Molly? Where did she live? Where is she buried? In addition to the details for the lineage charts and genealogy, we can also collect the family history stories. Who remembers how we celebrated Christmas in Grandma’s House? What were the traditions of the holidays in the 1940s? Did you really receive just a pair of socks and an orange?

So many of these traditions and family stories can be lost if we don’t take the time to record them now. The opportunity is perfect, it is right in front of us. So, bring out the digital recorders and the DVD cameras and interview family members; record their memories and feelings. Someday these memories will truly be the most valuable gifts of the holiday season.

And, remember, once these memories are recorded, be sure to make duplicates of the tapes and the digital recordings. In addition, be sure to transcribe these tapes so that the memories, if not the actual voices will last forever.

If collecting oral history is not in the cards, maybe identifying old family photographs or filling in details on lineage charts might bring the family together. Now is the perfect time to reminisce and share family memories. Bring out the photo albums, or set up the tape, and digital, recorders and ask questions about the family. This may prove to be the best opportunity to collect and save, or build on to, the family history.

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