Welcome to October – Family History Month! How did that happen so quickly? I know time doesn’t speed up or slow down, but once July 4th comes and goes it seems like the rest of the year just flies by. Let’s see if we can slow things down a bit and make some family memories you’ll cherish forever.
Last year I explained how October came to be Family History Month. You can read about that here. This year, why not focus on a few activities (or just one) where you can connect with your family in a new way?
Ancestral Recipe Night:
What better way to explore your family’s history than by sharing ancestral recipes? Each week pick a different cuisine that reflects your family’s heritage, whether it’s Italian, Chinese, Mexican, etc. Maybe you have family nearby and want to come together once a week to share that meal together. Make sure to get the kids involved. You might discover some hidden cooking talents in the family.
Ancestral Recipe Cookbook:
Do you own a lot of recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation and now you’re the recipe keeper? Why not devote this month to organizing them into a cookbook for other family members? It would make a great Christmas gift. My dad was the keeper of this cookbook from his aunts.
It is torn beyond repair but still has wonderful recipes my mom and I still make, like lemon butter. We made it last year and it was a hit! Read about that here.
Gather your family together and have the younger generation ask questions. These “interviews” can be videotaped for everyone to see. If you’re stumped on what to ask, look at this list from Ancestry.com. It has some wonderful questions to get the conversation started. My husband interviewed his grandmother before she passed and he cherishes the talk they had.
Old Family Photo Challenge:
Get out all the pictures and photo albums and organize a “before and after” challenge. Each family member chooses an old family photo and recreates it as closely as possible. From the clothing to the poses, you’ll have a blast comparing the old and the new. Make sure to take photos of the new.
For some of the younger kids, have them craft their very own storybook. Provide blank notebook paper and art supplies and ask them to put together stories they’ve heard from your family’s past. You could also do this with poster board and make a “vision board” of what they think their heritage is about.
Time Capsule Challenge:
Have your children create their own time capsule filled with letters, drawings, and small mementos. You can bury it in the backyard or just store it away for future generations to find. Make a note to yourself to have a discovery party at the child’s high school or college graduation. Once you dig it up, you’ll have a wonderful time remembering that day.
Family History Month is an excellent opportunity to connect with your roots on a deeper level, share stories, and strengthen the bond with your loved ones. These activities will not only help you remember the past but will create new and lasting memories for generations to come.
Genealogy tip: Whatever activity you choose, make this month the time to relive traditions of the past and to start making new ones.
If you’re just starting your family history or need help continuing it, please give me a call. I’d love to help you with your journey to the past.