September 4, 2008 – Grandparents can to take the lead in helping younger generations preserve their family history this National Grandparent’s Day, according to Milford, Ohio resident Hazel Cole Kendle, the 88-year-old first-time author of the just-released Cole Family Christmas. This year’s National Grandparent’s Day will mark its 30th anniversary on Sept. 7.
“It’s a myth that young people don’t want to hear the stories their grandparents can tell,” said Kendle. “However, too often grandparents and great-grandparents feel like they must wait to be asked before telling those stories. Realize that family members often won’t ask for the first story, but once you start talking, they’ll be begging for more.”
Jennifer Liu Bryan of Alexandria, Virginia, Kendle’s granddaughter-in-law and co-author, points out that grandparents don’t have to stop with stories, either.
“There are many ways to pass along family traditions,” said Bryan. “Remember the favorite dessert your grandmother used to make or the dishes she received on her wedding day. Each item serves as a connection to the past, but we have to work to keep that chain from breaking.”
For this reason, Kendle and Bryan suggest 10 ways families can preserve their memories this Grandparents Day.
1. Construct a family memory book. Gather pictures of family members across generations and make a scrapbook by writing in the stories that have been passed on through generations.
2. Play a game the grandparents used to play. Kids had fun long before video games were invented. Play a game from the analog era to show the grandchildren how it was done.
3. Read a book your grandparents read when they were your age. Grandparents can make classic children’s literature even more rewarding by adding in details of what life was like at the time.
4. Learn how to cook grandma’s favorite recipe. Whether that’s a traditional holiday dish or her secret cookie recipe, spend time in the kitchen with grandma cooking a recipe that can be passed down to the next generation.
5. Take part in a grandparent’s favorite hobby. Whether that is painting, gardening, or putting together puzzles, spend time with your grandparents and learn about the daily activities that bring them joy.
6. Pick out one interesting, unique or strange family heirloom. Grandparents can explain the history of the item and why it is special to the family.
7. Learn where you came from. Drive through your grandparents’ old neighborhood and listen to stories about their old neighbors or family outings at the local park.
8. Go back in time to the movies. Rent a classic the grandparents enjoyed seeing on the big screen years ago. There are plenty of great old movies other than just the ones that run during the holidays.
9. Ask to look at your grandparent’s wedding pictures or high school yearbooks. Learn about their best friends and see pictures of them when they were so much younger.
10. Preserve a memory for future generations. Make a home video with them and let them discuss their favorite stories.
Next Chapter Press has released 60,000 copies of Cole Family Christmas, a true, tender, and wholly unforgettable tale that has been passed down from generation to generation through a coal miner's family.
When one of Mama’s few possessions, a treasured purple glass bowl with fluted edges, is accidentally broken by exuberant children rushing in from the outdoors, and an unlikely blizzard prevents Papa from coming home after working extra hours at the coal mine on Christmas Eve, hopes for a picture perfect Christmas were quickly quelled. However, the hours that followed that turbulent Christmas morning created a joyful story that has lived in family lore for years.