It’s the time of year when we gather with family members or friends to celebrate, catch up, listen to stories, walk down memory lane, reveal secrets…and lies. And don’t you love a story? Yes, indeed, the season for eating, drinking and talking together has arrived. And, the thing we do most is tell stories. Where we have been, what we are doing, what is next, who is in our life…or not.

We also listen to the stories of our friends and family, often not for the first time! Additionally, we ask about what happened in 1983 or was it 1982? We want to know who was there and what they said, our curiosity spurred on by mulled wine, eggnog or sorrel punch.
Sitting round the fire, the kitchen table or the comfy sofa seems to bring out the stories from within us. We love them! From those early days jumping up and down in our nappies begging to get someone to tell us a night time story, to asking our loved ones to soothe us to sleep with a happy tale (or a scary one, as seems to be the craze by the number of horror movies available)

-There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you- Maya Angelou

Now let’s keep it positive, let’s look on the bright side. Let’s ease out the best tales from Grandma, squeeze out Uncle Tony’s horse racing days and Aunty Jeanne’s first parachute jump back in the day. Become the story collector and pull out the juicy bits of Grandpa’s life.
Listen and learn. Let Grandma tell you (again)  what it was like when she was a child. You never know what gem she will reveal if you show interest and smile! Declarations and confessions could be divulged. Family history uncovered and admitted. What about all those fables, fantasies and adventures of a lost relative explained and exposed? For sure you will discover some amazing stories.

Don’t forget to ask them about yourself. Our childhood memories are often hazy, coloured by selective memory and biased opinions. Older members can remind us of what we were like as kids, what we did and didn’t do and what naughty tricks and troubles we created as “nippers”.

Don’t argue, disagree, fight back…no no no! Just take out your notebook and jot down those precious stories. They will be your future speeches, articles and blog posts.They will provide you with a jewellery of expressions and phrasing.

Remember too that stories are seldom told in the same manner twice, resulting in many variations of a single myth!
So,now you have purpose and a fabulous mission for the coming festive weekend, Chanukah, Christmas…whichever temple you connect to. Don’t you love a story?

Creating a story within a story is an essential ingredient in any speech today…it is the only way to be original.
At Step Up & Stand Out, we encourage Authentic Story Telling. Looking forward to hearing your latest stories and comments too!

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