You’ve probably seen the telltale signs already.
The dedicated row in Costco.
The twinkly lights cleverly tucked behind a pumpkin.
The facebook memes announcing how many weeks/days/hours until Christmas.
It’s undeniable…the holidays will be here before you know it!
Living in the desert, we’re still sweating out 100 degree days so the physical cue that we’re heading into the holidays just isn’t there. And yet, I sort of feel it. It’s like something lurking in the shadows waiting to rush me when the coast is clear. Whether I’m ready or not, Christmas will be here in a blink.
That got me thinking about gifts. Many folks love the idea of sharing memories and stories as a Christmas gift. It might be from a parent who wants to pass along their wisdom and values to their adult children. Or, it may be the adult child, looking for a unique gift for their parent. How many of you struggle with what to get the person who has everything? Yup…me too. Gifting a personal history is a great way of saying you honor and love the person. Plus, it’s a fun activity for them to do. Reviewing one’s life and seeing how far one has come gives a boost of confidence. Reminiscing opens up doors in the mind that release memories not thought about in years. A former client, Sam, summed it up well, "Michele unlocked memories that we had not thought about in many, many years ... now captured for posterity. I believe our family members will be very grateful to receive, individually, little computer thumb drives that will, in our own voices, tell our life story."
Even if life has been a struggle, if one is still in there - still swinging - that communicates something significant about the person. Life isn't always daisies and rainbows. Much of our learning comes when we're faced with tough situations. Those stories communicate a great deal and can inspire generations.
Personal histories – whether oral or written – also become gifts for many. Yes, it is the storyteller’s story but when they share their life lessons, everyone in their life, who hears those lessons, benefits. Collectively as a society, we learn from one another. What they found hard, we might find hard as well. How they overcame a circumstance might hold the keys for us as well. Legacy gifts grow in value over time. Timeless truths really are “timeless.”
If one were to desire to record their story and gift copies during the holidays, the time to start that project is now! Recording, editing, drafting, approving, finishing – it all takes time. Creating a one-of-a-kind piece of art (and that’s what a personal history project is), takes time. If you’re even thinking you might want to do this, please contact me soon to discuss the project. All consultation calls are free so it doesn’t cost you anything to “shop” for a personal history project. If you want to gift your mom, dad, or grandparent a gift certificate for a recording, that’s something that can be accommodated right before Christmas. However, why wait? Wouldn’t it be nice to have the peace of mind of knowing what you’ll be getting your parents or grandparents? No more stressful debating over the perfect thing when “things” aren’t what they want or need at all.
Yes, the holidays are lurking but along with the expense and stress of the holiday season comes all of the joy. That part I’m looking forward to! I do love our family’s holiday traditions and I look forward to creating new memories with our grown children. This season of life is darned good.
Wisdom is a Gift.