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    « What if I Can't Remember? | Main | Gather Your Family Stories »

    Bring Your Family Together with Holiday Memories

    Did your family consider, this holiday season, beginning the new year by working together to create a memoir, tribute book or family history? It’s a great idea that keeps a family close all year long. Before you jump into creating your book, think about how your family’s collaboration will work. For one thing, each of the participants in the project will bring a different perspective to it. This simple exercise can help you be aware of those perspectives as you begin.

    Exercise: Have each collaborator recall and tell the group about the same event from the holiday season – this year, or a past event all can remember. Have each person tell the story exactly the way they recall it: what happened, who was present, when it happened, as many sensory details – sounds, smells, etc., and as much of the exact dialogue as they can. Other family members should listen carefully for the different details or interpretations that each person gives to the story.

    Why do this exercise? To successfully collaborate on a book project, the group needs to plan for the different points of view this exercise will reveal.
    Discuss these questions together:
    • Will you weave them together into a single account?
    • Will you present each person’s recollections separately?
    • How will you finally decide what goes into your book and what doesn’t?

    One piece of advice we give our Stories To Tell authors is that it generally works best for one person to be in charge of the project. By doing this exercise, you can choose your leader, formulate a game plan, and agree, right at the beginning of the project, what to include when you have so many stories to tell.

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