Celebrate Completion of Your Story


Once your personal history project is complete—whether a book or a CD—how do you distribute it to family members and special friends? One excellent way is to weave it into a celebration.

Doris Jenks gave copies of a book of her husband’s World War II pilot stories to each of her children and grandchildren for Christmas. One of her daughters said there was a hush in the room—and occasional chuckles—while each person skimmed through the book and read.

To celebrate Kathe Barber’s 80th birthday, her children and grandchildren commissioned a book about Kathe’s mother, a resourceful German immigrant and widow who raised three daughters and ran a boarding house on Capitol Hill in Washington DC during World War II. The book was given to the family guests at Kathe’s birthday dinner, and provided the opportunity for Kathe to share her mother’s stories with the certainty that they would be read and appreciated by the generations present.

In short, a celebration gives weight to the importance of the story, and is a catalyst to give the story its due attention.

When you begin a personal history project, consider how to launch it in a celebratory way, including who will present it, when, at what event, and what will be said.

Copyright © 2013 by Mary Beth Lagerborg