by aisling d'art ©2006
Do you participate in large family gatherings at Thanksgiving?
If so, create a special journal for this holiday season.
Start with a blank (or handmade) journal. Decorate it with a collage, or some photocopies of old family photos. (Use photocopies instead of originals, so that people don't fret about sticky fingers if they're browsing the journal while munching, and it's also kid-safe.)
Be sure to put the date on it!
At the front of the journal, include some Guestbook pages. That is, the pages should have lines so that people can write their names & addresses (or contact info). That way, you'll know who was there when you re-read this journal (or bring it to future family gatherings).
One possibility: Put one old photo (an individual ancestor, or a photo of a past family gathering) at the top of one page, and then leave lots of blank space for people to add their comments/memories about that person or event.
Put another photo a few pages after that, leaving space for writing, too.
Do this throughout the journal, leaving several pages between each photo, so that people can write a lot if they want to.
Another option: Take Polariod photos (or leave a blank space/page for photos you'll add, later) and ask everyone to write a few lines in this journal.
You could ask them to write on a theme. Since it's Thanksgiving, they could jot notes about what they're most thankful for, this year. (If you do this before dinner, the journal could be read by the respective relatives during the meal. We've done something like this at past family dinners, and it was wonderful!)
There are a lot of ways that you could do this, and it'd be great fun.
After Thanksgiving, you can scan the journal pages, create a PDF with them, and then burn this onto CDs to give as presents in December.
This is a time of year to create wonderful memories. A journal like this could start a fabulous family tradition!