Copyright © Janice Tracy, Mississippi Memories

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sharing and Preserving Family History At Christmas

Christmas gatherings are perfect times to discuss and to preserve one's family history. After the more traditional activities of attending church, opening gifts, and eating a holiday dinner are over, sharing stories about family history is a perfect way to get older relatives to talk about what it was like when they were growing up. Talking about old or special Christmas ornaments on the tree, and remembering unusual or funny events that occurred during past Christmases may be ways to start a dialogue. My own family engaged in some "family story sharing" over the Christmas holidays, and a new cousin I met just last week and I shared our stories yesterday over the phone. Taking photos of family members gathered for the holiday is another fantastic way to preserve the memory of those who are close to us. We are extremely blessed to have a daughter who is a very talented photographer, so our family gathering was well-documented with photos of all of us, including the cat! And this year, for the first time ever, I gave someone a DNA test kit for Christmas. In my case, the gift went to a very close friend who is attempting to unravel her maternal family's history. Since genetic DNA testing has become an extremely valuable tool for adding more branches to the family tree, I imagine others like me gave test kits for gifts this Christmas, as well. Overall, ours was a very good Christmas, one filled with memories that will live on. I hope you made some special memories this Christmas, too. And along the way, I hope we all preserved a little family history.

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