Loading... Please wait...
Every Day Free Shipping

Blog - personalized gifts

Celebrating Family History – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Posted by

As Family History Month comes to a close and the holidays move closer, I thought it was a good time to reflect, once again, on family. October is also my grandmother’s birthday month (Happy Birthday, Anna!). Anna represents a tremendous part of my history. We have always shared a special bond that started with me being her first granddaughter and namesake and continues with many treasured memories through the years. For this and so many reasons, this post is dedicated to my Anna.  

Clearly, we value family history a lot around here, so I am loving that there is a whole month dedicated to it. There are plenty of reasons to celebrate family history and many reasons why it is important not only for children, but for people at any age. It increases self-esteem and confidence, it creates and/or strengthens familial bonds, it gives a strong foundation from which to grow–the list goes on. There are so many great tips and fun ideas on how to introduce family history to the next generation. I have even shared a few tips myself. Some are fairly straightforward and simple, while others require a bit more preparation. The reasons, the ideas, the tips–they are all out there (and very important), but I was hoping to do something different here by looking at what connections they all have.

Most importantly, they are all about spending time with loved ones. Not just any time, but real quality time focusing on each other and what you’re doing together. In this electronic age, however, there is so much competition for our attention. We see it every day: people with their significant other, or child, or grandchild looking at their phone or other electronic device, while giving half-hearted answers to questions they barely heard. In fact, most of us are guilty of this from time to time; I know I am. And much of the time, it’s actually both individuals or the entire family whose attention is focused on anything but each other. Trust me, I get it–we’re busy and we have the world at our fingertips. It has never been easier to get distracted. But while we are, we’re missing what is right in front of us. Take some time to spend with your loved ones and bring your complete self to the table when you do so. That is what family time is all about.


All of the reasons and tips also connect at the intersection of sharing and creating memories. It doesn’t matter how old the memories are. Remember them, treasure them, and share them with the next generation. These are the stories that are passed down and will continue to make your family special for more years than we’ll be around for. I tell my children about fun trips I took with my grandparents and how I “moved out” at the age of five (the only act of rebellion in my life!) because I needed a break from my sisters. My children think it’s so funny that my grandfather came to pick me up, along with all of my toys. I remind them about how my grandmother and I would sneak Cheese-its into bed and watch the Tonight Show. These memories are part of what makes me who I am, and I want Samantha and Nicholas to know all about them. I also remind them of the things they did themselves as a baby or younger child that they may not remember–they love hearing these stories of our “recent history” too and often ask to hear them over and over again.

Finally, all of the reasons and tips involve creating new memories to share. You may wonder what creating memories has to do with “history.” However, I think it’s important to shift our perception of that word. We are trained to think of history as the distant past, but it is also the recent past. What happened yesterday is now history, and today will be history tomorrow. So, the things we are doing today are creating the memories of tomorrow and the things our children will share with their own children. And, I can only hope that all of their stories do not start with “My mom was running around crazy that day and . . . ”

The holidays and hopefully, family time, are almost upon us. No matter which tip or idea you plan to pursue, if you remember to make sure it’s real quality family time, while you share old, and create new, memories, you are honoring family history and helping your child or grandchild do the same.

When I do book signings for My Heritage Book, I always sign before you decide where to go, it’s important to know where you’re from! I don’t remember when I started signing that way or exactly why, but isn’t that what it all comes down to? Remembering where you’re from, so you can decide where to go and then that others can do the same thing one day. I hope you had a very Happy Family History Month!

View Comments


Sign up for our newsletter

View Cart Go To Checkout