Preserving the Present for the Future

Genealogy involves more than just researching the past. It also involves preserving the present for future generations. It may seem hard to comprehend now, but one day your descendants will be researching their past which is your present.

“Creating a Legacy of Love” gives some interesting insights on family traditions that can be continued for generations. After the death of her mother, the author says she wanted to create the same legacy of love and laughter with her daughters that her mother had created with her.

Here are some very practical tips:

Take advantage of everyday life, and don’t wait for special occasions to make memories. “Become aware of opportunities you already have, and seize them,” Lauren says, noting that family mealtimes can play a great part in your legacy of love. “If I could give one piece of advice it would be this: Hold the mealtime sacred,” she advises. “Turn off the TV, and sit around a table and enjoy one another.”

Lauren also suggests making the most of family vacations. Instead of going to Disney World each year, visit a place that means something to your family’s history. The Briggs family visits “the family farm” in Iowa every few years to stay connected to their past.

Here are three more ideas:

1. Recipes for life. If your favorite aunt is like mine, she probably doesn’t know how many pinches of oregano she puts in her meatballs, but you want to know so you can re-create her special dishes. Spend a day in the kitchen with her, and write down her prized recipes. Do the same with your other relatives, then compile a family recipe book.

2. Scrapbooks to savor. Don’t stress out about putting together an award-winning scrapbook with stickers and calligraphy. Instead, create your own funny captions, and keep your scrapbooks current. When you return from a vacation, make a scrapbook filled with the memories.

3. Research and rejoice. You may not be a history buff, but your family’s history is important and fun to research. Why not make it your family project to discover something new about your family’s history and document it? (This is especially great for homeschool projects.) Florence Littauer, co-author of Making the Blue Plate Special, is a big advocate of researching one’s genealogy.

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