Every holiday and big get-together in my family is held at my parents’ house – the house where I grew up. We always sit around the old dining room table for our big meals, and even linger afterwards, just staying there with our drinks and chatting the evening away.
And especially if it is a holiday, when there is a lull in the conversation, you can count on my mother to pipe up, “Okay! Why don’t we go around the table and share…” Often there are fake groans that this little tradition has popped up yet again, but truly, we all enjoy it.
It’s family storytelling time, and it’s one of my favorite parts of our gatherings (well, of course!). I know I can count on my mother to get it started, too.
Mother’s Day & Father’s Day Storytelling
Just this past weekend, my husband and I, my siblings, their spouses, and our children, gathered together with my parents around this very table for a Mother’s Day lunch. And wouldn’t you know it – my mom broke into the conversation with a cheery, “Let’s go around the room and share a favorite memory about our mothers.”
There was an obligatory groan from a few, but this quickly became a special time, as there were many mothers represented at the table, myself included. I got to hear stories about both of my grandmothers, both of whom have passed. I got to share stories of my own mother, and so did my brother and sister. And my two eldest children shared a little something about me, which warmed my heart to hear.
Now, just because Mother’s Day is past us this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t do this at any time! You know I always think any time is the perfect time for family storytelling. But Father’s Day is coming up, so maybe you can try it then, sharing about the dads in your family. Share something funny, something sweet, something special. It’s bound to be a meaningful time, and who knows – you may pick up on some unknown pieces of family history along the way.
All About My Mom & Dad
And, to get the kids more involved, I’ve got something for you. I’ve created two special interactive booklets that are available at my Teachers Pay Teachers store. The booklets are meant to be completed with a child and their mom or dad. There are interview questions, a family tree, space to draw a picture, and more.
Check them out here:
Sharing stories together is such an important part of keeping family history alive, for the young and the old. So, here’s my little encouragement to “go around the table” at your next family gathering and share a memory. In our family, we’ve shared stories of our favorite Christmas tradition or gift, on Thanksgiving we’ve shared what we’re thankful for, and we’ve shared memories of special people in our lives like on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. It’s a simple but powerful way to incorporate family history and storytelling into your celebrations.
Here’s to Happy Storytelling!