Have you ever felt like getting information from a parent or grandparent about the family history is like pulling teeth? Often, it’s simply a matter of asking them at just the right moment, when they’re feeling nostalgic or sentimental. One way to start the memories and stories flowing is by asking about the family heirlooms.
Storytelling is not something you can simply turn on and off like a water facet. Stories are more like a waterfall that changes depending on the conditions, gushing part of the year and falling back to a trickle at others. To get someone to recount family stories, you have to create the right conditions.
Family heirlooms can often spark those sentimental feelings and jar loose priceless details from the memory bank. Consider pulling down that old trunk from the attic and sifting through the treasures with a family member. As they revisit those forgotten objects, you’re certain to hear stories complete with rich and vivid details!
So, the next time you visit Grandma, ask if you can see the treasures in her jewelry box or display cabinet or what heirlooms she may have inherited from her grandmother. Ask Uncle Billy if he’ll show you the tools he inherited from his dad. Seeing these heartfelt objects will bring back memories where they can be accessed in the form of the great oral tradition of passing down family history. The family heirlooms provide the spark.
If you want your a parent to share stories of their childhood, ask if they still have any toys or dolls from when she was young. Or look through the old photo albums together. Did your parents or grandparents inherit any furniture, china, or silverware? If so, offer to help them clean and polish it and wait for the stories to pour out while you do!
Exploring heirlooms with older family members is a great way to discover your family history.
~ Legacy Videos ~
Give your parent or grandparent the gift of a lifetime by capturing their life story and memories for your family to know.
Here at Family Line Video we produce Legacy Videos, modern-day memoirs that weave a filmed interview together with family photos, documents, maps and other memorabilia. The result is a beautiful “Moving Portrait” capturing your loved one as they recount their life story, family history and memories – a gift your family will treasure for generations to come.
To learn more about capturing your parent or grandparent’s life story in a Legacy Video, visit us at FamilyLineVideo.com.
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