Holiday Interviews | Document Your December 2020

Discussion in 'Document Your December 2020 Fun & Games' started by norton94, Nov 3, 2020.

  1. norton94

    norton94 Thank goodness I'm still a Well-Known Member

    Mar 7, 2010

    The holiday season is a great time to connect with family or loved ones and learn about what is important to them. Even if 2020 may mean your connections are possibly virtual. Having these conversations this year may be especially rewarding and nostalgic for lonely relatives.

    As memory keepers we are poised to ask those probing questions and document their memories for generations to come. Capturing what family celebrations were like for our older relatives will preserve those memories of how things have changed and which traditions have remained. You may solve the mystery of why your family celebrates the way you do! Also consider interviewing your children, significant other, or yourself.

    Some tips for older relatives:
    1. Decide what topics or themes you want to cover. For example, is this strictly about Christmas, their faith, or their life/childhood in general? Bring your camera or phone if meeting in person. Have paper and pen to take notes, or with permission record the interview. You can photograph your relative as a memento of the interview. You can photograph heirlooms such as Granny's Christmas platter or an ornament. Older photos they share can be scanned or photographed. I've used an app called Photomyne to capture my inlaws' old photo albums, just in case. I'm sure there are many other options too.

    2. Prepare a list of open-ended questions or topics to cover, such as "What do you remember about celebrating Christmas Eve growing up?" This type of question encouraged them to elaborate, compared to yes/no questions. Ask if they have any other interesting family holiday stories, since you may not know what to ask to get to that remarkable memory.

    3. It always takes longer than you think, so depending on your relative's age and ability you may want to provide the questions in advance and allow them to write answers at a time that is convenient. You can read through them together and ask follow up questions in person on over the phone/video chat. An alternative is to break up an in-person interview into more manageable sessions.

    4. If you or they have old family holiday photographs, heirlooms or recipes, begin the interview by reviewing these. Sometimes these spark funny stories or connect memories better.

    Some additional tips for interviewing kids/teens:
    1. Try asking questions while they are engaged in an activity, for example decorating gingerbread houses or doing a puzzle. Car rides are great too!

    2. Open ended questions are key!

    3. You may feel like you know the answers, but ask them about their traditions/memories and you may find they highly value something that you didn't even realize was something important.

    Extra Resources for questions:
    50 Questions to Ask Relatives About Family History
    Christmas Then and Now Interview
    50 Intimate Questions To Ask Your Forever Person This Christmas
    20 Questions at Christmas: Getting to Know Your Family All Over Again
    100 Icebreaker Questions for Christmas Parties (some great questions for kids at end)
    25 Fun Year End Interview Questions For Kids
    9 Cool Questions to Ask Your Kid
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
  2. jang

    jang Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

    Jul 18, 2012
    Great thread. Thanks for the links.
    norton94 likes this.
  3. Angela Toucan

    Angela Toucan I keep looking for THAT wardrobe

    Nov 6, 2017
    wow, what a wealth of journaling ideas, thank you.
    norton94 likes this.
  4. FarrahJobling

    FarrahJobling FarrahJobling

    Dec 17, 2012
    Fantastic idea! I wish I'd done the kid questions every year....but I'm going to get my kids to answer them this year and start it now! <3
    norton94 likes this.

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