We are yet to embrace the culture of preserving family memories. Most of us, in the present and near past, don’t even know how our families are structured, talk-more of knowing our cousins and other relatives. The few who know the family history, either lived in close relationship with other family members or took out time to dig for themselves. Finding ways to preserve your family memories is not only an enjoyable pastime, it may create a rich social history of your lives for future generations to come. Families have long held onto memorabilia that give insight into their lives; letters, photos, diaries, documents and so forth. These days, there is an abundance of ways you can get creative with preserving your family memories for your enjoyment now, and in years to come. The following headlines can be of help…
Interview Your Kids
It may seem boring but this is one of the most effective ways of recording and keeping your children’s development. This method helps parents to revisit their children’s developmental history and help them to get past certain difficulties encountered while growing. With this method, the family history is well caged even for the grand children to experience in visuals what it felt like to be the parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins, etc…
Curate Your Own Family Gallery
Make picture taking a habit. Create events for photography competitions with categories like most weird, most awesome, most stylish, etc, to capture the fun moments of your family. Dedicate a wall or area in your home to display favorite moments in your family’s life. You could include framed children’s artwork, and photos of extended family, vacations, or special moments captured on camera. Feature gallery walls are great in rooms where you usually come together as a family or along blank walls on stairways and hallways.
All You Need is Food
The African community culture is gradually fading away with the adoption of westernized way of living. Most modern African families hardly have family meetings, with most people coming together as a family only during burials, church services, etc. Family food traditions can bring back some of the warmest memories, whether it’s the simplest everyday dish or what you always share for festive fare. Create a recipe book to record your family’s favorite everyday recipes. Did your grandmother always bring along the best-spiced apple pie? Keep the recipe and continue the tradition after she’s gone. Use hard copy books, online apps, or layout original handwritten recipes with an image of the person and their dish.
Shadow Box Displays
Shadow boxes with glass fronts are excellent for storing and displaying small items that you treasure. You could create a shadow box with baby keepsakes, an outfit, and a picture of your baby wearing them. Or small shells, pebbles, and driftwood collected on camping trips or vacation. Or create a ticket box to drop and display ticket stubs from shared outings and trips.
Research Your Family Tree (Oral History Moments)
If your family doesn’t already have a family tree, research your family’s genealogy. It is amazing what you can find out about your ancestors through simple oral history lessons from elders and family friends. Software can be used to record names, dates and events, images and create individual reports. Create mini-biographies of people and what they undertook in the time they lived.
Use a bottle or a jar to place messages on birthdays, or at Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year. Record thanks or gratitude for the year that has just passed, or write down wishes and goals to achieve in the year ahead and review them from time to time.
Make a Movie
Home movies will always be enjoyed for many years to come. Whether you record special occasions, school plays or create a family skit, keep the footage. Film ordinary everyday activities as well sometimes, it can be fun to look back on something as ordinary as everyone leaving the house, or coming home at the end of the day.
Over time, if you find you have built up a collection of keepsakes and items that hold precious memories, make a memory box. Memory boxes can be as big or small as you want them to be, even suitcase sized. Keepsake boxes can hold items related to a special period in your life, a particular event, or an individual person.
Caricaturize Your Family
Many families sit for formal family portrait photographs. Add a twist to that and have a caricature done of your family that highlights any particular quirks, or pastimes you have. Caricature artists will either have you sit for them or draw from individual photos.
Hand and Foot Prints
Draw outlines around the hands and feet of your children as they grow, or make hand and footprints from non-toxic paint or in casts or with salt dough. As well as marking milestones, hand and footprints make great pieces of wall art, plaques, and ornaments.
Scrap books and Photo Albums
This is a beautiful way of writing down memorable pieces beside the photos of family members. By this method, one can record special events by photos and decorate them with beautiful write-ups by the sides. Criticisms as well as praises go well in the scrap book.