Whether you are making plans for a big Thanksgiving dinner with the extended family or just a few of you at a local restaurant, the holidays are frequently a time of impossible expectations. I think we often go through the work of preparing for the perfect holiday experience with everything and everyone in place only to discover that life doesn’t usually happen that way. Don’t get me wrong, I think holiday rituals are extremely important it is just that big events have a higher probability of disappointing and small everyday moments are commonly ignored.
My advice is that as you plan and experience your celebration, release some of your expectations and tune your heart to the little things waiting to be discovered in the faces, eyes and words of those around you.
In keeping with these thoughts I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that StoryCorp has declared the day after Thanksgiving The National Day of Listening. StoryCorp asks you to start a new holiday tradition—set aside one hour on Friday, November 29th, to record a conversation with someone important to you. You can interview anyone you choose: an older relative, a friend, a teacher, or a familiar face from the neighborhood. Preserve the interview using recording equipment readily available in most homes, such as tape recorders, computers, video cameras or a pen and paper. Visit the StoryCorp website for a free Do-It-Yourself Guide that will prepare you and your interview partner to record a memorable conversation, no matter which method of recording you prefer.
I join with StoryCorp in hoping that you’ll make a yearly tradition of listening to and preserving a loved one’s story. The stories you collect will surely become treasured keepsakes, growing more valuable with each passing generation.
Originally posted Nov. 25, 2008.