The holidays often translate into family, friends, and a great deal of activity. Yes, we are all busy visiting, catching-up with relatives and sharing the joy of the day. In spite of the hectic holiday, the coming festivities offer a unique opportunity for every genealogist and family historian. NOW IS THE TIME TO COLLECT THOSE ORAL HISTORIES!
For the uninitiated, all upper case letters means I am shouting at you. I want to get your attention so that you will think about this idea.
With the electronic capabilities of inexpensive digital recorders, anyone can capture an oral history. Anyone can sit down with old Aunt Sally, or Grandma, or even Dad, and ask about growing up on the old homestead. Or, what was Thanksgiving like back when you were a child? A question I always want answered: by this time each year, as a child, were you looking forward to Christmas?
Recording the conversations can be really quite easy. Small recorders are now so discrete that few people are bothered by, or even notice, their presence. Simply sit down and ask a few questions. After a thanksgiving dinner, or some other holiday celebration, it really is interesting that so many people want to reminisce and share their life stories.
There are so many opportunities that it is a pity that more oral histories are not collected during the holidays. The holidays seem to evoke a sense of nostalgia with at least some family members. So pull out the digital recorders. If you don’t have one, go to the mall and treat your self to a valuable, yet inexpensive, early Christmas gift. BUY ONE! (Again I’m shouting). And plan on recording Aunt Sally, Grandma, Dad, or any other relative. Persuade them to share and save their family histories.
The holidays were made for collecting Oral Histories.