Sharing Stories, Good For the Soul – Here’s Why


During this season of celebrating with family and friends, laughter and storytelling become very prevalent. As we share and gather at parties and around tables, many conversations begin with “Remember when…”

And it’s those two magical words that can open up doorways to the past and get the imaginations of those who were there swirling with memories. Those memories might be of a burned turkey on Thanksgiving Day, or a sledding mishap in the mountains, or something silly that grandma said during Christmas dinner 10 years ago.

With traditions in full swing, new memories are being made, but memories from the past can only be kept alive in one way – talking about them. Sharing stories is not only a way to reminisce, but a way to keep a strong, shared connection with the ones we love. With funny or embarrassing stories, we share feelings of joy and happiness. Recalling difficult memories helps us to empathize and understand one another better.

Telling stories of the past gets people laughing, maybe crying, and most definitely, reliving. Those who weren’t there – perhaps a child hearing his/her parents’ memories of their childhood for the first time – gain an understanding of their loved ones. These stories bridge gaps between time and generations.

There’s a section in Reading Is Fun! Imagine That! called “Our Amazing Memories,” which talks about memories and the importance of keeping them alive by recalling them and talking about them:

“You may be surprised by the natural abilities we have for remembering. Some folks have good memories for certain things: names, faces, scents and flavors, childhood experiences, numbers, directions, music, dances, poems, old sayings, etc. Some memory abilities are inherited and others are learned, but we all need to find our own best ways to remember.”

I go on to talk about taking notes, writing things down, explaining the information to other people, and simply repeating stories until they’re engrained in our memories.

“You may know someone who is good at remembering dates, addresses, and phone numbers. Some remember names and faces, or they can go to a place they’ve never been, and find it again years later. Others can tell you what happened to them a long time ago, and describe it as if it happened yesterday. You can learn many new things as you read, and a good way to remember them is to use them or talk about them with someone right away. You will be learning many different and fun things to share, and sharing new information is a good way not to forget.”

I felt that this topic was important to talk about during the Christmas season because this is the time of year that time can momentarily slow down as our primary focus becomes friends, family, and cherished time spent together. Over delicious meals, there’s not much else to do beside eat and talk; and when small talk of jobs, kids, schedules, and responsibilities dies down, two words will likely arise.

“Remember when …”


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