I recently came across a great book which I immediately snapped up for both mother and mother-in-law. Whether they'll want to do it or not I don't know, but it still literally makes "the gift that keeps on giving". It's called "The Oral History Workshop" by Cynthia Hart with Lisa Samson. You can see more of it here, but it basically helps anyone who wants to record their family history, with interview tips, and writing prompts. Examples of the writing prompts include food experiences, wedding memories, secrets, and challenges. Get the picture? Most people find it daunting to even think about writing their memoirs, and this book gives a gently shove in the right direction. And talk about a different kind of gift.
And just the other day I read a fab post at "Are we Nearly There Yet Mummy?" and lo, another great idea. Laura has her dad writing the post, about an incident with her children which then reminded him of an incident with her. I highly recommend a read as it's well written, poignant and funny. Throughout the post he wonders if she remembers the events, and that got me to thinking "What a great idea for a book/family memory book."
Identify specific events in your childhood and ask your sibs, parents, cousins, friends for their recollections of the same event. It could even be quite funny as many of us have completely different memories of the same event. I was scarred for life a few years ago when my mother revealed that she could only "vaguely remember" the time I fell down a manhole, and she was laughing so much she couldn't even help me out. In fact, it was one of my earlier blog posts.
Anyway - What you do with the results is limitless. I just thought, what a great idea. A bound book with photographs perhaps?