Family history in a box
Once important family history and facts have been gathered, there are a few other things that should be collected during the holidays.
The elder should be asked to produce any old photos of even older family members, if possible. While a current video can definitely be shot, ask the relative if there is any historic footage of the family or family events. This will make great conversation.
If there are any letters, newspaper articles or other documentation about the family, include it.
Put everything together in a box.
One or two people should be appointed to maintain the family records. It's always better to have two copies of everything just in case.
Don't let this discussion cause any dissension in the family, however. But if there are any estranged or quarreling family members, the holiday season is also a time to put it to an end ...
Stop fighting family members
There are sparks, arguments and sometimes even fistfights in families, but the holiday season is a perfect opportunity to make things right.
A "gnawing feeling" indicates that the matter should be handled so that it doesn't continue throughout the holiday season, according to Mark Gorkin, the Stress Doc and author of "Practice Safe Stress and The Four Faces of Anger."
"How strong is your reaction to that person?" he said. "If it's strong enough, you want to deal with it."
Gorkin added that sometimes it may be a pattern of small things that are said and done that may make a family member uncomfortable.
However, the key to resolving family disputes is to use good communication skills by telling the family member how something makes you feel and asking that he or she stop.
And after quarreling family members are back to being lovey dovey again, it's time to start a tradition that can be carried out each year ...
Start new family tradition
Every family should have something unique to its celebration during the holidays. And if you do not have one, now is the time to start one.
The tradition should fit the family, of course. For some families, a toast can work as a tradition. For other families, a prayer may be better.