National Roots Day on December 23rd encourages families to delve into their family history, heritage, and ancestry.

Each year during the holidays is an ideal time to collect family information. While families gather around the table telling stories and sharing memories, someone is sure to be the family historian. It is entirely possible a grandparent, parent, aunt or uncle has already started a family tree and will share with other family members.

When is National Day of Listening?

Gather photos – and get them labeled before memories fade. Names, places, and dates become fuzzy after a decade or two. Strive to involve every generation. Share struggles and accomplishments. Document stories from one generation to another. Each generation is made up of the previous generation’s efforts, travels, failures, and successes. They help us to be who we are today but they

It is often interesting to learn about the lives of our ancestors; where they came from, their struggles, their accomplishments. It is a combination of everyone on the family tree that helps to make the person we are today.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalRootsDay

Look into your own family’s roots. Share family stories with your children. Organize those photos. Some ways to encourage family members to share family history is by asking questions. Come prepared with the information you would like to learn. At the same time, be prepared to listen. You never know what stories might be worthy of being heard. Tools you will want to have handy include:

  • A notebook
  • Pencil
  • A tablet or computer
  • Something to record audio or video
  • A list of questions
  • Your family tree
  • Stories you may have heard
  • Photos, especially ones you need help identifying
  • Photo safe pen – you can also make a photocopy that you can write on

If your relative has additional photos, ask permission to make copies. Whether you take a picture with your phone or bring a portable scanner, those photos may help you to identify people in your collection. Match them to the stories your family member is telling, too. 

You can also visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for even more ways to Celebrate Every Day!

Use #NationalRootsDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar continues digging for the roots of this holiday.