As co-founder and Chatbooker-in-Chief at Chatbooks and mother of 7, I know what a (delightful) whirl the holiday season can be! Through the years I’ve found several easy ways to capture our family’s special memories. Here are four of my favorites:
1. Play the “Remembering Game”: On the car trip to grandma’s or when everyone’s relaxing post-turkey, grab a piece of paper and write down one fast memory from the season. It can be as short and sweet as “1. Declan singing his heart out in the school play.” Then pass the list on to your spouse, a grandparent, or child. Each person adds a memory and then passes the paper to someone else (or coming back to you for another round!). Your goal is to get to 100 memories—and nothing is too small to include! You can upgrade this idea with a Memory Notebook: create your list in a special notebook (we have a red monogrammed “Q” book for our family) and set a regular time for everyone to add memories. We started doing this at Sunday dinner years ago, and I treasure the memories collected in that book!
2. Capture the Year with Ornaments: Each year, we buy or make an ornament for each child, choosing something that reminds of the year: a trip we took, a sports team they were on, their school picture, or something they drew or painted. Over time, those ornaments create memories of the holiday season as well, and we all love decorating the tree and reliving those memories through the years.
3. Make Photo Books Automatic: We’re all so good at grabbing our phones to snap a cute picture of our kids playing in the snow or making cookies, but it’s hard to get those moments off our phones and into something our family can hold and remember. That’s why we started Chatbooks: to automatically turn all of those memories that were getting lost on my phone into photo books so we could hold onto and enjoy them. If you get the Chatbooks app now, you can simply “favorite” photos in your camera roll as you take them throughout the holiday season and they’ll instantly go into your photo book (along with your holiday instagram or Facebook photos if you like). When your book automatically arrives after 60 photos—without any work—you might believe in Santa again!
4. Collect Christmas Card Albums: We get so many beautiful holiday cards and I love displaying them, but it’s so sad to take them down after New Year’s—and I couldn’t bring myself to throw away the sweet photos. So I bought little albums from the dollar store and each year I put all of those holiday photos in there (it’s a great job to put kids in charge of). Over the years our collection has grown: I keep them all in a basket and pull it out each season. I love to flip through them and see how our family and friends have changed over the years.
Hope this helps you #holdontotheholidays!