Several years ago I came across the idea for a “family almanac” from a Christmas email list that I had joined. It sounded like a wonderful idea, so I eventually got around to doing it. Setting up the cards was easy. Then one of my summer projects that year was to go through my journals and find things to add. Some days and years are pretty sparse, but it really doesn’t matter when you start – just do it!
Materials needed: 367 index cards (4×6 is a good size), 12 index dividers, a card file box (or some sort of container to hold the cards)
Preparation: Label the dividers with the months of the year. Make a card for each day of the year (January 1, January 2, January 3, etc.). File them behind the appropriate monthly divider. Use the remaining to cards for explanations to be kept in the front of the box. Decorate the box and/or cards to reflect your personality, if desired.
On one card write:
“Tips for Keeping a Family Almanac”
There is a card for each day. All you need to do is fill in the year and the event.
Make sharing your almanac a family event. During dinner may be a good time.
Write birthdays, weddings, baptisms, deaths, etc.
Go through baby books for information like when your son or daughter took their first steps, first tooth, etc.
Ask relatives to recall special events.
Photo albums may remind you of a special event and its date.
Look through medical records to find important information.
Past calendars or planners may be a good source of information.
Consistently update your almanac as events occur. Just remember, at first you almanac may seem small but as the days pass, it will grow!
On a second card write:
The moments that happen day to day in your family are priceless. The purpose of the Family Almanac is to keep a record of these memories—not only the birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and deaths, but also the less celebrated events. The time your son scored the winning run. When your daughter lost her first baby tooth. The day you received your promotion or bought a new car. The day you got your dog or the day your son had his appendix out.
All of these singular happenings make up the memories that define your family. This box will become a treasure box filled with a collection of stores and events that shaped your family.