Thursday, December 22, 2011

Create a Christmas Book of Memories

There’s something so magical about Christmas. It brings us together to share precious times as a family. So why is it that we become so busy during the holiday season trying to create the perfect holiday that we often forget to hold on to those memories? Creating a family Christmas Memory Book is the perfect way to step back and remember those special times over and over.

Photo Album Meets Scrap Book.

Think of your Christmas Memory Book as part photo album, part scrap book. What can you put in a Christmas Memory Book? Just about anything you want. Photos and videos are, of course, a good place to start. Include photos of your family decorating the house, trimming the tree, hanging stockings, wrapping presents, baking holiday goodies, even attending various Christmas programs. And don’t forget to have the camera or camcorder ready for carolers!

Take Good Notes!

Journaling is another natural feature of a memory book. If you send out an annual family Christmas newsletter, be sure to include a copy in your album. But you can also keep a journal of the highlights of your holiday season. What did your family members do that was unique or important this year? What gifts did you make? What outside Christmas activities did you participate in? What special gifts did you enjoy this year? You could ask each family member to write a page about their favorite parts of Christmas this year, and then include these articles in the album. You might be surprised at what they remember best.

From Ribbon to Mistletoe.

Beyond photos and journaling, you can make your family memory book uniquely yours by including wrapping paper swatches, pieces of ribbon, Christmas cards, tickets and programs from Christmas events, pictures drawn by your children, even dried Mistletoe pressed between the pages. Did you bake Christmas cookies this year? Include a copy of your recipe. How about the Christmas stories you shared together? Add a list.

Wants & Wishes.

Another fun tradition is to keep a family wish list. It might include presents that people want, but it could include some interesting non-tangible items as well. At the end of the season, put the list in your memory album. Looking back over the list in future years will give you a snapshot of things that were important to your family at that time. You could also invite family members to make a list of what they are thankful for.

Straight from the Heart.

A Christmas memory book doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Some stores sell bound Christmas albums ready to go, but a simple three-ring binder with acid-free paper and protective sleeves can hold nearly anything you might want to include. Better yet, it’s versatile, so you can put in whatever fits you and your family. You could keep several years in one binder and use tabbed dividers to separate each year. Or, you could prepare a binder for each year. You can also create digital albums on the computer. Imagine the look on your grown children’s faces in a few years when you give them their own copies of the family Christmas memory album on DVD!

If you enjoy working with photos and crafts, you may have the beginnings of a home business. Many people are neither good on the computer or with scrap books, but they’d enjoy owning a memory book or giving one as a gift.

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