I treasure the warm feel of a small child’s head snuggled under my chin after he climbs onto my lap, hands me a book, and says, “Read this to me, Grandma.”
Guess what book my 4-year old grandson, Kaius, grabs for Grandma to read to him every time he spends the night?
It’s my copy of the latest Camp Grandma book. This is the photo/journal book I create after each year’s camp and give a copy of to each grandchild for Christmas.
In the midst of gathering ideas for this summer’s camp, I had a flash of inspiration for a family history book. It’s a project easily created at your next family gathering, whether it’s a Camp Grandma or a family dinner.
It can even be created long distance, with family members contributing via email or social media.
You might decide to design it as a digital or handmade scrapbook, a fancy journal, or even in a plain blank notebook.
How to create your own family history book:
In order to quickly create your family history book, you’ll need to gather your family together at some sort of family gathering.
For those who aren’t able to attend your family gathering, ask them to contribute their comments via email, texting, or Facebook messaging.
STEP 1: Gather your supplies
Once your family is together, set out some pencils, pens, and scraps of paper.
STEP 2: Gather information
Ask everyone to use the scraps of paper to write down some of the following:
• Family happenings they remember (both fun and disastrous)
• Funny sayings of family members
• Some of their own accomplishments
• Silly things about themselves
• Their favorite verse
• Three answered prayers that meant a lot to them
• What they admire most about another family member
Be sure they put their names on each scrap of paper, or you won’t be able to identify who said what!
If some of your kids aren’t believers, they probably won’t include a favorite verse or answered prayers. But they might!
If they don’t, the Lord will still use this book to whisper His love to their spirit. The book will contain a bit of faith in the form of favorite verses and answered prayers from those they love.
STEP 3: Organize your family history book
After everyone leaves, divide the scraps of paper into piles representing different topics you want to include in your family history book.
For example, you might want each to have their own page where you record everyone’s comments about the person, including their own.
Or you might divide your book up into topics such as Family Happenings, Funny Quotes, Memorable Accomplishments, and Fun Facts.
STEP 4: Decide on the format for your book
Do you want to design your family history book as a digital scrapbook that can be reproduced for each member of your family? Check out Shutterfly or Snapfish.
Or are you more of a Do It Yourself type person who would like to create a handmade scrapbook that the whole family can enjoy when they come to visit?
And, of course, a fancy journal or a plain blank notebook works just fine if you want to handwrite everything into a treasured heirloom.
STEP 5: Create your family history book
Use the information in each pile as the content for your book.
Be sure and add photos. Who wants to read a history book without photos? Borrrrr…ing!
Choose a title your book. If this is a project you’d like to repeat each year, add the year to your title. For example, mine might read 2017 Gaddis Family History Book.
One final thought…
Want to carry the idea further of writing your own stories for your family to enjoy for generations to come? Check out my course on Canning a LIFETIME of Story and begin creating your book today… one story at a time.
For those of you already taking the course, Canning a LIFETIME of Story, consider including the information you’ve gathered from this project as a page or chapter in your book.
Now… guess what book your grandchildren will want Grandma to read to them the next time they spend the night? *happy sigh*