November 25 is the third annual National Day of Listening, a national holiday started by the acclaimed oral history nonprofit organization StoryCorps in 2008. It is a day when families are encouraged to give the gift of storytelling to their loved ones, leaving a legacy that’s likely to be treasured more than any gift you could purchase. It is an effort to encourage all Americans to honor a friend, a loved one, or a member of their community by interviewing them about their lives.
This year, National Day of Listening is especially emphasizing giving thanks to teachers.
National Day of Listening participants are encouraged to record their National Day of Listening interviews, using equipment that is readily available in most homes — from cell phones to tape recorders to computers or even pen and paper. StoryCorps has created a free Do-It-Yourself interview guide with equipment recommendations and interview instructions available online.
“The idea of listening during the holiday season has clearly resonated with people across the country,” says StoryCorps founder and MacArthur “Genius” Dave Isay. “The National Day of Listening, which coincides with Black Friday, provides a meaningful alternative to holiday consumerism and proves that simply listening to one another is the least expensive and most meaningful gift we can give.”
“Life review is an important activity that hospices use with the patients and families they care for at the end of life,” says J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. “So StoryCorps’ National Day of Listening is something we strongly support and we’re pleased to be a national partner.”