Folks & Fables: A Fall Tradition Bringing Ancestors to Life
We have been eagerly anticipating this month at our house. Our not-so-furry linen friend has been tucked in his lovely tin for a whole year and the kids are eager to let him loose. His name is Boo (you can name him whatever you want...as long as it is a proper cat name).
You may not know that in addition to being the months of spooks, October is also Family History month. Born out of an idea to connect REAL dead people to their REAL progeny, we set out to create a Halloween Tradition that would delight and educate, our goal being to turn young hearts towards their fathers. Ghouls and Grandparents. Here is how it works at our house...
Sometime at the beginning of October we bring Boo out of storage. This is prompted by the kids. We take a minute to sit down and review the pedigree chart that comes with Boo. The first step is just to get our ancestors' names in our children's heads. In our home, we had an ancestral memory game made, where we pair photos of our parents and grandparents to help us remember names. (My wife had it made through Shutterfly and they did a lovely job.)
Throughout the month of October Boo escapes his tin several times at night (this does not happen every night and making it random actually makes it more fun for our little ones and way easier on us). While Boo is out at night he finds mementos of our ancestors. Sometimes it is just a photo but most of the time it is an object that reminds us of a story. For my grandpa Jack it is those pink mints that are the size of a thick quarter and the color of Pepto-Bismol. For my grandma Gwa, it is a stick of red lipstick, or perhaps Boo gets stuck in the cookie jar (cookies were a Gwa specialty). The idea is that whatever Boo finds prompts a simple or lavish story.
The goal then becomes connecting our children and ourselves to those we love who have gone before. Finding a bit of time as the kids eat breakfast or make their lunches is all you need to bring a new simple and rewarding tradition to life in your home. In fact you don't need the really cute tin and cat to do it but if you want one of ours, we have worked hard to make them both affordable and timeless.
Happy October from all of us here at Heirloom.