I found this in DEAR ABBY last week:
I have a suggestion for people who are stuck for gift ideas.
Several years ago, I asked my mom for a very special Christmas gift.
I asked her to write down her life story -- things she had done as a child, the experience of hitchhiking from New Mexico to Tennessee during the Great Depression, and all the other experiences of her life. She did, and I printed it for her.
That year she gave each child, grandchild and great-grandchild a copy. It was the best Christmas present ever and one that's still cherished by us all.
Both my parents are gone now, but we have Mom's wonderful stories to remember.
Without her book, those memories would be lost forever. I encourage everyone to record their family history and memories for your loved ones to read.
You'll never regret it, and it will be enjoyed for generations to come.
-- ANDREW IN JOHNSON CITY, TENN.
DEAR ANDREW: That's a terrific suggestion. And if the parent or grandparent isn't comfortable with writing, the same goal can be accomplished by setting up a video camera and interviewing the family member by asking questions about his or her youth.
Barb's Comments: I'd do both and with the video that you tape make a DVD out of it and glue a CD Mailer Envelope onto the back inside cover of the hard bound book. Then you'll have the best of both. Their voices...and then their photos and written out heritage in bound book form.
BETTER YET make this a bonding experience for the youth who know how to get around and navigate on a pc. Contact me for the QUE sheets (questions to ask) and have the grandchildren interview them. They will learn so much and then have them create the heritage album (my help is always available local or online). You will have just bridged three generations.
Making Strong Connectionsps the photo at the top has my husband waiting on the bench, but behind him is the train that his own Dad worked on over 65 years ago...we were waiting for our daughter to arrive by train for Thanksgiving. Capture those precious moments.
Binding Families together with storybooks