StoryCorps, a non-profit dedicated to recording the American experience and honoring each other through listening, is trying to start a new holiday tradition. They are encouraging people to sit down with someone they love the day after Thanksgiving and record a conversation that will become a family heirloom. They have declared Friday, November 28 a "National Day of Listening."
Their Website really spells everything out for you (don't be scared of audio!) including some basic mic tips, sample questions and interviewing help (for when you get stuck with a case of the "ums".)
You could record your Grandmother telling the story of how she and your Grandfather met, or what they think of the election results. How about talking to that uncle that has called you "Sporto" since you were 8? Or talk to a cousin that's the same age as you.
The holiday conversations in my house usually end with a tirade of "When I was your age, we had to GET UP to change the channel on the TV and we only had THREE channels that went OFF THE AIR at 10 pm" and other tales of 1950's pioneer hardship, like only having one phone in the house. Wouldn't it be great to get all that on tape?
StoryCorps encourages you to start a tradition this Friday and then play back your recordings at other gatherings as a way to preserve your family's history.
Here is their video to help you get started: