While living in the moment is important, having something tangible to relive memories of special occasions or daily life with friends and family is also very valuable, especially to connect with loved ones who have passed on or who we may not be able to see regularly. Photo albums are a great way to preserve special moments, but there are many other creative options to keep those memories alive and vibrant for generations to come.
Go beyond the photo album. Looking through old albums is a fun way to relive those times, but break some pictures out of the book to display around your home! Just make sure to note on the back of the frame some information about who, when and where the photos are from so you can maintain the context of the image.
Convert old home videos and photos. Older pictures and home movie film may start to break down with time. Find ways to preserve these by either digitizing and/or working with a company or expert to protect them. It doesn’t hurt to do both so you have a backup should anything happen to the original. You can also use digitized photos to create an online album to share with other family and friends.
Record interviews with family. This is especially important with older loved ones. Sit down with them in person or over the phone and ask them questions about their lives to preserve their stories. Whether video or audio only, having these recordings to listen to and pass down brings life to these cherished memories. You can also write these stories down into a book or memoir that can be added to in each generation.
Save special heirlooms. Whether your grandmother’s cast iron pan or a pocket watch from a great-uncle, having special items that can be passed down within the family is a great way to honor our loved ones. However, you can take it a step further by adding notes or photos with the items about the original owners and their memories with the items. Perhaps your father adds a note with the pan about a favorite recipe his mother used to make, or a cousin shares a story about how your great-uncle used that watch in his job. These add an extra element to the items to make them even more special for future recipients.
Preserve smaller items. Next time you go to that concert with your favorite band, put the ticket stub in a scrapbook that can be added to over time. Instead of having a loose shoebox of items, adding them to a book where you can include a note about the event and your memories of it will make it more fun and special when you go back and look at it again later.
Memories with flavor. Many families have unique recipes they pass down – preserve them in a special cookbook or in a tin of cards that others can add to over time. Perhaps it is something you can create copies of to share as a gift with loved ones so everyone can recreate those special dishes that bring back so many wonderful memories.
Saving kids’ artwork. If your kids bring home oodles and oodles of artwork from school, you are not alone. But how do you keep it (or subtly discard)? A great option is to create a book with pictures of their art from each year. Simply snap a photo as it comes home, save your favorites in a box or folder, and then at the end of the year, upload to the photos and create a book that you can look back at for years to come.
While there are many ways to preserve favorite memories, just be sure to back up your photos, recordings, or other items if possible just in case anything were to happen to the original. Looking back on these memories on your own or with loved ones is a great way to relive special moments from the past.