A Gift That Keeps On Giving

Now that Thanksgiving is out of the way, most of us will soon be swept up in a rush of holiday activity, whether that’s Christmas, Hannukah, or something else. It’s gift-giving time for nearly everyone, and many are looking for creative ways to trim costs this year without making it obvious. Here’s a thrifty idea for parents, grandparents, and other family members (or friends!) you’d like to encourage to get started on writing their lifestories — create a lifestory gift box. This is a gift that can reap dividends lasting for generations. You can keep it basic, or get as elaborate as you like.

Suggested contents for a basic box include:
  • The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing, by Sharon Lippincott
  • One or more packs of blank index cards for capturing story ideas
  • A new pen
  • A pad of writing paper (not a fancy book — such things are intimidating to write in)
  • A blank printed timeline (you could enter basic information to get them started)
  • A neatly written or typed list of stories you hope they may start with
  • A binder or file folders for holding finished stories. Decorate an insert for the cover and spine if you use a binder.
The following optional items are listed as suggestions, but none are essential. Let your budget, knowledge of the recipient’s tastes and preferences, and your imagination by your guide.
  • Photos of memorable events to jog their memory
  • Records, tapes, CDs, or mp3 files with favorite memory-jogging songs and music
  • Hole punch (for adding printed pages to binder)
  • A gift certificate for typing up hand-written stories (depending on need. You can offer your own services, draft a friend or relative or offer to pay for this)
  • Mementos
  • Chocolate
  • Gourmet coffee, tea or other beverage of their choice
  • Scented candle
  • Lap desk
If this idea appeals to you, click over to Amazon right now and order the book. Order one for yourself while you’re at it if you haven’t already, and save on shipping.

While you wait for the book to arrive, choose a box that’s big enough to hold paper, pen, the book, and related items. The kind with the lid that has tuck-in flaps to hold it closed works especially well. Cover it with lovely, durable paper and include a note to let the recipient know it’s intended to be used for storing writing supplies and maybe using as a lap desk. Then click here to download a blank Heart and Craft Timeline and follow the instructions at the end to customize it before printing. (A version for filling out on the computer is also available there.)

This gift from your heart is sure to open theirs and result in lots of stories that will keep people reading for generations and keep them aware of family history and ancestors.

Write now: about your memories of holidays past and memorable gifts you’ve given and received.

1 comment :

Pat's Place said...

Nice, nice gift hints! Thanks! That could be another gifts. I have a Journal in a Jar suggestion that is good for writers. I did a Kid's Journal in a Jar last year for my older grandchildren.