This is a gift idea that I actually made for Christmas last year, as in 2007. I thought others might enjoy the concept. It's my own adaptation of an AARP book that I thought was a good idea but kind of cheesy in its execution. The basic idea is a book that gets filled in by grandparents, parents, great grandparents, etc. that offer a way to catalouge their stories and memories. That is, each person gets their own book. I started by creating a word document with questions in different areas: "Tell me about..YOU" with questions about what things were like for them; their games, songs, fashions, etc.; "Tell me about...my Parent/Grandparent, etc." depending on the recipient; "Tell me about...ME" with questions about finding out impending birth and first sighting, etc.; "Tell me about..MY HERITAGE" with a family tree to be filled in and questions about ancestors and family traditions including a page for a family recipe; "Tell me about...YOUR VALUES" that included questions about the things they think are important, things to always remember, etc.; and Tell me...in the FUTURE with a pocket to leave a letter to be read in the future and blank pages at the end for photographs. (I also included photo corners to make it easy to put in photos.) I had the word document printed (on thick card stock) and bound at a local copy shop, which means I have a template to share if anyone is interested.
Each book has to be tweaked a little bit so that the questions are appropriate but so far we have had both of the books returned from Cal's great-grandparents with wonderful results. Filled in family trees, funny jokes, photos of great-great-grandparents and a whole lot of memories. Not everything gets answered but enough to make them really special. I'm late in sharing this for the most recent holiday but thought it might be nice to pass it on anyway. Of course, it can't hold the entirety of one's heritage or story but it provides something.
6 months ago