My Children's Family Histories
From my own experience, when the words family history are brought up in conversation, I observe firstly a squirm ensued by a yawn then the famous blank stare. One would think I would give up and quit talking about it, but I can't--I just can't!
I believe family history is a gift of love for the generations who will follow. I believe parents should teach their children the importance of preserving their own family's history. Hopefully, someday after I am gone my children and grandchildren will follow in my footsteps and continue to preserve family history.
For the past three years, the only gift I have asked of my daughters for Christmas is a history of their families. I told them I didn't care what form it took--just some type of yearly history. I also said, "I don't want anything else--no pressure!"
They have all chosen to accomplish this in book form with written histories and pictures. I am sure I am not prejudiced, but I think these books are the best gifts ever given--a true work of love. And it really is work!
In return I also give them a gift related somehow to our family history.
All of my "family history gifts" are homemade and incredibly amateurish--meant only for the use and pleasure of my children and grandchildren. Despite this, I hope my efforts express the love I have for my them and the value I place on our relationship.
My great grandmother wrote her own history and kept journals. Several times she wrote the phrase, "Keep the home fires burning." For many years I wondered what she meant by that, but I think I understand it now.