At this time of the year, I receive many fun holiday letters or year-in-reviews from family and friends. Starting or continuing this family tradition is a wonderful way to share your family history with the generations of the future, too. Here are some additional ideas for creating fun family letters, family journals, and more!
The Family Holiday Letter or Year-in-Review
There are many ways to write your family’s year-in-review letter. Some choose to write in a traditional way beginning with the greeting of “Dear Friends.” But, your creativity can truly run wild with unique ideas to capture the very recent history of your family! Just take a look at the hundreds of examples found on Pinterest like the one below. (Click the image to be directed to the pin.)
Now, fast forward 20 years and imagine what several archived letters would look like all bound together in a scrapbook or printed book form. Wouldn’t that be neat? A treasured family heirloom for sure.
Family Journals for Genealogy
Have you ever heard of the family journal? A family journal is just that…a journal of the happenings of one family, either immediate (mother, father, and children) or the extended family (grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.)
My immediate family includes my husband and our three children. I often write about their lives in my personal journal. But, an extended family journal encouraged me to write about the lives of my parents and my sisters, and their families, in more detail. For example, I could write about when nephew Andrew raised a kitten from the dead through prayer (true story!) or when niece McKinsey made her debut appearance in Little Mermaid as Flotsam.
Keeping a family journal for genealogy is especially nice if your family members aren’t exactly the “record keepers” you wish they were! However, it can be difficult to capture all the happenings of a large and sprawling family. If extended relatives are not living close by, consider social media to keep up-to-date.
The Family Facebook Page and More
Speaking of social media, I have enjoyed printing my year-in-review from Facebook using MySocialBook each year. I was delighted to see MySocialBook had captured comments my family made about my posts or pictures. In this way, I had recorded each of them in a candid way without even realizing it.
MySocialBooks work well with a family Facebook page, too. Not only can your family share stories and updates via the family Facebook page, but pictures as well. Then, at the end of any given time period, the family page can be slurped into book form using MySocialBook and everyone can have a copy of the “family journal.”
Becoming the Light Keeper of Your Family
A family Light Keeper may be a new term to you. I think of it as the family recorder. The term was introduced to me by Rhonna Farrer and Allison Kimball. These two amazing ladies are the heart behind the upcoming Light Keepers: A Family History Experience for Women. This special one-day event is being sponsored by RootsTech and will be held on 1 March 2018 at the Salt Lake Palace. Journaling, writing family histories, and becoming your family recorder are just some of the many topics they will be discussing.
To learn more and register for this day of unique and uplifting ideas, click here. Though this event was designed for LDS women, it is open to women of all denominations who share a passion for family history!
So, what about you? What are your family history goals for the new year? Leave us a message in the comments below with your ideas…we love to hear from you!