A LifeWriter project makes a wonderful collective gift for a special occasion: a milestone birthday or anniversary, retirement, or reunion. Friends and family are happy to contribute toward a gift that’s truly meaningful, and that will retain its value for generations. We can make copies of the book for every contributor or for every guest at the celebration.
Here’s a sample letter you might use to introduce this idea to your friends and family. Feel free to cut, paste, and personalize this letter as you see fit.
I’ve got a great idea for Mom’s 75th birthday, and I’m hoping you’ll want to help me with it.
I’ve just met a woman who’s a personal historian. She specializes in helping people record their family stories – whole life stories or memoirs of specific periods of their lives. She starts by interviewing the person at home (anywhere from one to five visits). Then she transcribes the interviews and organizes the material into a narrative, written in the teller’s own voice, with chapters and photographs, just like a real autobiography. She has the book professionally bound, and the final product is beautiful. You can also get inexpensive paperback copies so that everyone in the family can have one.
What do you think – wouldn’t this be a great birthday gift from the whole family? I know we talked about sending Mom on a cruise, but to tell you the truth, I think she’d enjoy this a lot more. The woman who does this work is nice and relaxed, a really easy person to talk to. I think Mom would have fun telling her stories to a fresh audience! And when the book is done, we’ll all have something to treasure.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time remembering the details of those great old stories Mom always told. I want to make sure we have a record, so we don’t lose all that family lore before our own grandkids come along!
Let me know what you think. I’m also contacting Selma and John and all the cousins. It’s going to cost several thousand dollars, so I’m hoping everyone will chip in to make it affordable. I feel strongly that it’s well worth the investment.
Write soon – I’m eager to get started! Love to all.