We all have stories to tell, and the holidays are the perfect time of year to share them. While there is always bustle and chaos preparing for the festivities, there’s also time for connecting and relaxing. These pockets of time cry out for reminiscence and nostalgia—storytelling.
Storytelling is a gift for you and others. As I see it, the main benefit is its endearing way of building new relationships, as well as deepening the ones you’ve been in for years. These friendships offer honest, mutually beneficial goodness to your life. Another wonderful thing is even if you’re recounting the same holiday story you’ve told 50 times, it’s okay. People love to be reminded of fond memories this time of year.
I’ve been sharing my story with all of you since September 2013. While I’ve maintained a focus on health and wellbeing, there have been personal tidbits scattered among my other writings—things you wouldn’t have known unless you grew up under the same Wisconsin farmhouse roof I did. You can find a compilation of a few of my stories in SRP’s premier issue of Trophia magazine, Simple Steps to Everyday Self-Health.
Sharing your story is a true gift to the people in your life, so give it freely this year. Wrapping a story around the presents you give will make it a holiday to remember. Here are a few storytelling ideas to get you started.
Family traditions: Are there certain recipes you make every year for the holidays? Bring them together on handwritten recipe cards, with individual memories for each recipe (e.g. the first time you helped make it or an unforgettable gastronomic tragedy) or write a note to accompany the full set of recipes, revealing what each tradition means to you.
Gift giving: Do you make handmade gifts each year? While some see this as a frugal way to get through the season, that is rarely the case. The time and love that goes into such gifts speaks volumes about how the giver feels about the person receiving the gift. Share the story of what you’re giving with a note about how you learned to create it, who taught you, how old you were when you started, what your first attempts looked like, etc.
Healthy living: Is there someone in your life who seems overwhelmed by the idea of creating a healthy life? We want our loved ones to be around as long as possible, and their daily routines play a huge role. Consider making a booklet of vouchers for activities: a walk every Saturday morning. A day of meal planning each month. This is a clever way of sharing the story of your healthy lifestyle without being preachy. If you need a jumping off point for these conversations, grab a copy of Simple Steps to Everyday Self-Health as an accessible guide for generating ideas and action steps.
Whether you realize it or not, the people in your life want to hear your story. Shared formally, or casually around the table after a holiday meal, storytelling is a powerful way to set the scene for a warm and thoughtful season.
Image from iStock/lisafx.