Listening at Thanksgiving

The 4th Annual National Day of Listening, promoted by Storycorps, is Friday, Nov. 25. Ignore the hordes of holiday shoppers and offer the best gift of all to someone you care about – the gift of your time and attention. Use a digital or old-fashioned cassette recorder, your telephone, or a pen and paper to record the stories of an elder family member or a friend. Asking a few questions or offering open-ended statements can get the ball rolling. Here are some ideas (stolen from the current issue of the AARP newsletter!)

• I remember my parents (grandparents) as being ___

• I wanted to grow up to be a ___

• My favorite activity at school was ___

• My first job was ___

• My most memorable meal was ___

• My proudest moment was ___

• I am happiest when ___

• The most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do was ___

Well, you get the picture — siblings, chance encounters, accidents, favorite books or music, claims to fame – the sky’s the limit. Have fun! For inspiration, visit

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