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!
Perfectly synchronous timing! I have been talking about the power of stories and the lost art of telling them and appreciating them! I love nothing more than being with a group of friends, sharing funny tales with a delicious glass of red wine in hand and a warm fire would really be the icing on the cake!! Ok, maybe a few snacks too!! Love your delicious and vibrant words, both written and spoken ? Sending love and huge ginormous thanks ?? xxx
Thanks Sweetie..it’s true, nothing like a good story with all the trimmings. 🙂
One of my biggest regrets is not having coaxed out of my father more of his life stories before he left this world. Sound advice, Georgia!
Merry Christmas and a Persevering 2017!
Thanks Ian….Yes, a persevering, focused and Happy 2017 to you too! 🙂
Too many people leave this mortal coil without telling their stories, more’s the pity. OK not everyone is a natural-born story-teller, but many have had interesting lives, and it’s such a pity if their particular tale/anecdotes die with them! Thanks for whipping up interest, Georgia; an excellent idea. Especially over a tipple, in a cosy room.
Definitely! To be in a cosy place with friends or relatives listening to their memories. My stories often wake up from their dormant stage and they long to join to the chain of stories. Really comforting part of the festive times being inspired by the spice of my companion´s experiences.
Spicy stories…I like that! Looking forward to hearing more of your stories! 🙂
I love to go round the houses with imagery and leave the reveal for as long as possible! I am a torturous story teller but I do like to make people laugh. Or to shock them.