HistoryStoryCorps, a national non-profit organization, created the National Day of Listening to encourage people to share their stories with the world. The event falls on the Friday following Thanksgiving, acting as an alternative to “Black Friday.” Families are encouraged to take an extra day to reflect on what’s important to them, and record those thoughts with those they love. Over time, this creates a personal timeline of family history.
Capturing MemoriesSome people love to share their memories, while others tend to be a little shy. That’s why it’s important to create an open and welcoming environment to communicate freely. There are many ways to spur conversation organically. Here are a few suggestions:
- Browse through a photo album with your loved ones and ask them to describe a few pictures. When was it taken? What was happening at the time?
- Look through the books or artwork at your loved one’s home. Ask about the significance behind their favorite works, and when they picked each piece up.
- Kick back and chit-chat! Get a deck of the Conversation Cards and start your conversation in a unique way!
Recording HistoryAfter generating great discussion, it’s time to get those thoughts on paper! But, there are many ways to preserve memories for the National Day of Listening. Think about which method feels the most personal, so you can create a fitting tribute to your loved one.
- Build a scrapbook with images and captions describing favorite moments.
- Record an oral history with a microphone and tape recorder, computer, or even a smartphone.
- Make a video recording of your interview and share it at a family reunion.
- Create a blog with stories from your entire family, so everyone can access the interviews from all over the world.
- Download the Have the Talk of a Lifetime Workbook and jot down your discussions in the notes section.