Creating a Family Journal
I come from an extremely close family. So when my grandfather passed away in 1999, we all felt the loss. As Christmas approached, my mother decided she didn’t want everyone to focus on what had been lost as a family, but instead highlight all the good that occurred over the year. Thus the State of the Moyles Address was created.
It started as the typical family holiday letter on a simple plain piece of paper with an opening statement about what had transpired to the Moyle family as a whole, and then included a little blurb about each family member. It was then inserted into the yearly Christmas cards she sent to friends and family all over the country.
The positive reviews were staggering. This simple paper opened up communication between friends and family alike, and initiated “wow, I didn’t know that happened….” and “remember when...” conversations. It also added a personal touch to the standard Christmas card.
Over the years, this project has grown into a full color, multi-page saddle-stitched booklet that now includes photos and graphics, as well as contributions from others in the family. It has become a yearbook of our family, and a tradition that all look forward to, as our lives are constantly changing. But no matter how busy we are during the year, the booklet allows us to take a moment and appreciate those important in our lives.
It provides a personal touch that you can’t get from gifts like tube socks or a French Vanilla candle (unless the joke is that your socks smell). The State of the Moyles Address has become a tradition that will be carried on for years to come, and has been passed along to other families who want to have their own personal journals.
It’s amazing that a piece of paper and an idea can open up something so valuable among family and friends.