Even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, chances are that you will have some sort of time with extended family members over the upcoming holidays. These gatherings are a treasure trove of information for the memory keeper. I love these opportunities to get to know family better and to learn more about their histories. Even if you don’t conduct official “interviews”, there are plenty of ways to get them talking – all you need to do is ask questions!
Here’s a list of questions that would be good to ask any family member (or even yourself for an All About Me album). You will surely get a lot of scrapbooking ideas and material out of these topics and you will also keep the conversation lively and interesting. Nice bonus!
- What is your full name (first, middle, last) and are there any special meanings to any of those names?
- Where were you born?
- How many places (houses, cities, countries) have you lived? What was your favorite?
- How many siblings do you have? Where do you fall in the birth order (oldest, middle, youngest)? How did that influence your childhood?
- How tall are you? How does that compare to the rest of your family?
- What personality traits did you inherit from other family members?
- Where did you go to school? What are some of your favorite memories from school? What was your favorite subject? What do you wish you had studied more?
- Who were your childhood friends? Do you still keep in touch with any of them?
- What jobs have you held? What were some of the hardest? Which job have you liked the best? What career would you choose if you could start all over?
- Where have you traveled to? What was your favorite place? Where do you still want to go? Where would you go if time and money were no problem?
- What are your favorite books, movies, magazines, songs, podcasts, etc.?
- What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies? Musical instruments? Creative passions?
- Do you collect anything? What do you like to shop for? What would you buy if you hit the “big time”?
- What are your favorite foods? Ask about favorite dinners, lunches, breakfasts, snacks, & treats to get more answers?
- What are your strengths? What would you like to improve?
- What are some of your earliest memories?
- What significant news events have had an impact in your life? What do you remember most about certain time periods in history? (1970s, an election, a war, etc.)
- What do you want others to remember you for?
The questions above can be tailored to work for almost any age group. Be sure to ask the kids questions as well because there answers are always quite honest and entertaining. If you are getting some great stories, just pull out a smart phone recorder or ask to jot down some notes and tell them that you want to remember all the great things they are telling you. Don’t worry about getting every exact word, it’s more important to just understand their experiences and feelings. You will be able to remember enough to make it meaningful for you and anyone who you share the memories with.
P.S. the title graphic was created with Family Rules by Meghan Mullens.