Capture Those Memories at Thanksgiving

The day after turkey is the National Day of Listening -- and an opportunity to record precious family stories, says NPR's Michele Norris.

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If at all possible, try to record those conversations. It's easier than ever with today's technologies, using mobile phones, computers, flip recorders or video cameras. You can find a do-it-yourself guide at my website or at nationaldayoflistening.org. You'll also find more suggested questions and ideas for preserving and sharing NDL interviews.

Photos are great. Letters are wonderful. Memories alone can sometimes sustain us through distance and even death. But there is nothing like preserving the sound of those you love telling their own stories, in their own words, with their own voices. If you must rush out to the stores that day and engage in retail madness, have fun. But remember this: Family history is an incredible gift -- better than anything you will ever find in any mall.

I hope some of you will share some of what you discover from your family interviews in the "Your Stories" section at my website, here at The Root and at the StoryCorps Wall of Listening. The Root will also be posting some of the best StoryCorps conversations on its website all week.

Michele Norris is the co-host of All Things Considered on National Public Radio and the author of The Grace of Silence: A Memoir.

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