Family storytelling in our family is a JOY and a highlight at all family events. Like playing a game of Telephone, you never know how distorted or elaborated it may become as it is handed down from each generation. This "morphing" just adds to the flavor of any story.

GREAT Grandma Josie

The best storyteller in our family was "GREAT" - that's the pet name everyone in the family had for my husband's mother and she loved   it!  As a Great-Grandmother of MANY, she wore the title proudly.

Each time she would tell a story, it was elaborated on a bit more and everyone would wait to see what she would add next. She is gone now, but we still tell "Great's" stories - they will live on for a long time to come.

My husband always said, "She never let the truth stand in the way of a good story".

Family storytelling becomes a tradition; it keeps family history and memories alive. You can begin with the family elders - offer them topics like:

  • childhood
  • - who was their best friend
  • the depression of the 1930's
  • World War II, Korea or Vietnam (if they want to talk about it)
  • how did they spend the holidays as children
  • favorite subject in school
  • - favorite teacher and why
  • what did they want to be when they grew up
  • - did it come true or not
  • and my favorite - what stories can be told about family members, past and present

Enjoying a Senior story

A very important part to remember whenever an elder is storytelling is to RECORD THE STORIES. They will beome a BIG part of your family and you wouldn't want to forget or lose them.

We have stories from older family members that we recorded just whenever we were visiting. We would just let them "ramble", without knowing the recorder was on - what great tapes we have. Tapes, like this, can be played at family events for all to hear.

Telling a story about a butterfly

Another fun time is to have children tell stories - you would be surprised what comes "out of the mouths of babes"! There are "no holds barred" when a little one starts divulging family secrets! Be sure to have a camcorder going - you don't want to miss any of this!

Remember the old Art Linkletter show, "Kids Say The Darndest Things" - well it's still true!

So, what I'm saying here, is to be sure you set aside time for family storytelling - it is well worth it!

It's also a good "Time Out" to get kids and adults alike to sit and rest for a spell.

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