As Family History Month Activities for Non-Genealogists explained, Family History month isn’t just for genealogists. It’s something all families can join in on. Anything that gives us an impetus to moving on a project or good intention is a good thing.
That post had 7 easy ideas. Here are 12 more.
Share a story
Whether you’ve written it down or not, share a memory or tell a family story. One of the best ways to celebrate family history is sharing about that time you met someone famous, had to make a difficult choice, or great-grandma did something really embarrassing.
Write that one down
While you’re at it, preserve some of those stories. Write them down or make an informal video of yourself telling it. Just use your smart phone or your PC. (I know, no one likes the sound of their own voice, but, everyone else will.)
Dig through a closet
Think of the most precious memory you have on media. Is it preserved digitally? (If not, make sure you do that!) Have you told the story behind it? Do family members know why it matters?
I give my friend Julie credit for this idea. She’s looking through old video tapes trying to find the footage of her son telling his parents that he didn’t think grandma and grandpa were really in there.
Organize and Label
Doesn’t sound like a party for you? Me neither, but what a gift for the next generations.
If you have unlabeled photos (digital ones count too), add captions to them for generations to come. Tip: An apps such as Qroma Tag will let you use your voice to tag photos and will store it in the meta data.
Chat with a loved one
Interview relatives to preserve some of their memories. If you’ve interviewed them before, go a little deeper. Find out not just what makes their heart sing, but what makes it swell with pride.
Ask them about their proudest non-material achievement. Is it parenting, their role in their faith group, taking a stand, or being a good friend to neighbors? If you’re having problems coming up with ideas, Story Corps has great resources on great questions that result in meaningful conversations.
Preserve and celebrate your family’s history by uploading said meaningful conversation to the Library of Congress via Story Corps’ mobile app or a Story Corps location.
Dial a Family Member
Pick up the phone. Family History month is a great time of year to make sure your loved ones know you’re thinking about them.
Make Some Notes
Even if you’re not “into” family history, write down what you know about your family history, using an ancestral chart template such as the one the National Archives offers. This way, when someone else gets a full-blown case of the family history bug, they’ll have else a starting point for their research.
Share a Food Tradition
Dig out your grandmother’s favorite recipe and whip it up just for old time’s sake. Teach you off-spring how to make the dish. Remind them which loved ones particularly enjoyed it.
Pass a Plate
Have old passed down family dishes (the glass or china kind) that aren’t being used? Pick out one or two that you can give to a young person in the family who is founding a family or household of their own. Make sure they know its origins!
Set down roots
Plant something in your garden that reminds you of a relative, or set aside a space in your yard to honor a relative that’s passed on.
Document Family Health History
Sometimes we overlook passing down information on familial health conditions. Yet sharing this type of information can save lives. (See Why You Should Tell Health Stories and How TapGenes Helps Tell and Change Family Health Stories.)
What other ideas are there for celebrating your family’s history this month or any month. I’d love to hear your ideas.