Celebrate the Festival of Lights

Celebrate the Festival of Lights

Families gather together to celebrate the Festival of Lights because it brings warmth, hope, and coziness to our lives. Hanukkah is traditionally celebrated by lighting the menorah, playing dreidel, and eating foods like latkes, or potato pancakes. Chocolate gelt, a candy that gets its name from the Yiddish word for money, is another popular treat.

Merry & Bright: Five Tips for Preserving Family Heirlooms

Merry & Bright: Five Tips for Preserving Family Heirlooms

In the spirit of keeping it real, I'm sending readers a handy cheat sheet, Five Tips for Preserving Family Heirlooms, to shine a little light during a time that can be emotional for us all. "Real" is the key word, because as much as our lives are digital, the tangible world—the real—excites us and connects us as humans.

Highlighting Family & Personal History Businesses

Highlighting Family & Personal History Businesses

This holiday season, I'm sharing some entrepreneurs and small businesses that offer services related to memory, legacy, and family and personal history. I wish to amplify their reach so that as many people as possible know about their offerings.

I've noted the location of the businesses, but like most things these days, the Internet gives them the power to serve clients around the United States and the world. For example, I offer Family Archives Packages, and many of my clients aren’t local. Depending on the project, companies and clients can connect as easily by email or by phone as in person.

Speaking from my own experiences, owning your own business is a labor of love. We work hard to provide unique, quality experiences and to delight our clients. By supporting smaller businesses in this field, you are helping others who share your values. 

I've also asked my contributors to share their suggestions for capturing memories during the holiday season. What are yours?

Family History Gift Guide

Family History Gift Guide

A gift that celebrates memories is so much more than a present. An occasion for gift giving--the holidays, a birthday, an anniversary--is all about the experience. And everything's better when you enjoy it together. 

Here's a list of distinctive gifts for everyone on your nice list. The ties that bind these gifts together is that they cherish the past or create the future.

Save Your Family Recipes

Save Your Family Recipes

As Thanksgiving and the holidays approach, I wanted to create a 40-question guide that could capture these special food-related memories. I crafted a list of questions to record as much information about a favorite family recipe as possible. As you gather together over a meal, take a moment to ask about the nuances of your favorite dishes. 

Are Your Archives at Risk?

Are Your Archives at Risk?

In my book, Creating Family Archives: How to Preserve Your Papers and Photographs, I discuss the techniques that archivists use to protect historical materials from the ravages of time. I find that it's also helpful to discuss what can cause damage to your archival items too. Many hazards are obvious, but others may surprise non-professionals.