Thanksgiving is only a day away. Last year, we invited you to share all that you were thankful for visually — by creating your own Gratitude Mandalas.
This year, let’s show our gratitude by listening. This Thanksgiving, approach a family member or friend and ask them to tell you a story. Perhaps you want to know how your grandparents celebrated Thanksgiving when they were growing up. Or how they met. Maybe your parents have fun memories of a cherished childhood trip. Ask a relative about where they grew up and how they used to spend their time. What was their favorite music or musician? Their favorite book or food? What were video games like when they were growing up? Can they tell you about a memorable game they played in? Or a play in which they performed? Can they remember a time when they got excited about learning something?
Listen carefully. Then later, write down what you remember about the stories you listened to — and what you noticed about the storyteller as she or he told you a story.
Another way to spend time listening to family stories is to participate in StoryCorps’ Great Thanksgiving Listen. Storycorps, a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to giving everyone the chance to record, share, and save their unique stories. Stories recorded through StoryCorps are archived — carefully saved and kept — through the United States’ Library of Congress, the largest library in the world.
Have a parent visit StoryCorp.org and download the storytelling app. Then spend your holiday interviewing a grandparent or another elder who is either a family member or someone you know. Invite them to share their stories with you and, through their recording, with the world.
Like StoryCorps, Inktopia Kids believes deeply in the importance of stories. Your stories are important to us and we are grateful to have the opportunity to help you find that creative spark, that question or image that will get you not only creating or remembering stories, but also writing them down. And we know how important your stories are to you. Think about how much you enjoy having other people listen as you share your stories with them. Feels amazing, right? Invitations to share your stories with willing listeners are definitely gifts to be thankful for.
So this Thanksgiving, whether you record family stories through your ears and in your Writers Notebooks or participate in StoryCorps’ #TheGreatListen, be sure to show thanks for the people and all their stories by listening.
Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Story Sharing!