by Sara Marchessault
Christmas is almost here – woo-hoo! Time to greet friends and family, eat yummy food, and embrace your inner gift-wrapper.
In the midst of all the celebrating, we take pictures to document our moments. We pose for photos at networking events and holiday parties and we keep the camera handy to snap shots of happy faces on Christmas morning.
Having photos as reminders of special time together is great, but if you’ve ever felt as though you’d like a little something more, this list of six ways to capture holiday memories is for you!
Keep a holiday journal. Have you ever stayed in a rented cabin or house that leaves a notebook for guests to sign? This is like that. A blank book or notebook will do the job. Put the journal in a visible place at the start of the season and leave it available to write journal entries in throughout the holidays. Ask people to sign it at parties, sort of like signing a high school yearbook. They can write about a specific celebration or share a seasonal story from their past. You can add to the same journal year after year and ultimately create a running written record of holiday activities. Reading entries from previous years with your loved ones will be an easy and fun way to rekindle holiday spirit.
Request a memory email. It can be nice to give friends and family members a little time to wind down from the busy holiday season. Send an email after the festivities and request an anecdote about their recent celebrations. If you want specific details, send a short list of targeted questions. Explain your intentions for the responses they send so they know where their story is going. Will you post them on a family blog? Will you create a PDF with photos and quotes to send out to everyone who participates? A little booklet can be created using a digital photo book tool or even a Word doc.
Interview with a video or audio recorder. This can be a great project to give to a child. All you need is a video or audio recording device and a few questions to get the conversation started. Questions can be about celebrations, traditions, best childhood gift, favorite holiday food, music, stories, etc. If interviewing young children, ask what they are most excited about. The video or audio may be edited if you have the software and the inclination, or you could simply share it as is. It will be something that can be enjoyed for years to come.
Post a question on Facebook. Similar to writing an email, you could post a question about the holidays on Facebook. You may want to send it as a message to only specific friends and family, or you could post it on your home page and open it up to all of your Facebook friends. It’s unlikely you’ll receive lengthy responses here, but if you want short quotes to enhance another project this is an easy way to get them. This capture method is another you could ask any of your kids on Facebook to spearhead.
Writing activity for kids. If you’re trying to keep the kids engaged during the holiday break, try writing about events and activities. Their experience will likely be very different from yours and it would be fun to have it captured in their own words to enjoy as they grow. Kids who like to share their work can write their own story and distribute it. It can be posted to a family website or blog, shared through a social media site, or printed and mailed to family and friends who were a part of the story.
Place a photo mat out for people to sign. You’ve seen these before at weddings and baby showers. Try putting out a photo mat with a holiday inspired photo. This is a great idea to have available at a large party or open house. It provides a fun record of who came and a chance for guests to share a message of holiday cheer. You can hang it somewhere afterward as a reminder of a celebratory time.
The coolest part about these is the element of interactivity they can add to your holiday celebrations. Enjoy!
Do you have another idea? Leave a comment in the space below and share it with us!
Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb: Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, teacher, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit joyfulbydesign.com or saramarchessault.com.