The holidays are a time when you reflect — on holidays past, the year past, those you have known, and even who you once were. For many, the holidays are very much about memories and traditions formed in childhood. Our memories make up the story of our life that exists in our mind. These memories can give us comfort, direction, inspiration, and hope.
Our children need memories and traditions to grow into their future, and sometimes we need our memories and traditions to step back into the comfort of the past. We want to relive those moments when we felt safe, secure, happy, and connected. Or at least the times we remember that way — even if they didn’t actually happen exactly the way we remember them. 😉
Photos capturing these memories are everywhere. On your phone, your Ipad, you might still have a digital camera, or maybe a DSLR. You can’t escape the digital age, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, people are taking more pictures than ever before. The sad part is that few of these photographs will survive beyond a year, pictures have developed an expiry date of a moment.
When I grew up photos were developed and printed and put in photo albums or boxes. Those photos told the story of my life before I was me, they helped be discover my story.
Without family photos I would know about my grandparents gold mirror. Growing up this mirror was magical, I thought of it as the princess mirror. My Mother and both of her sisters had pictures of their reflections taken in this mirror on their wedding day. One day I will continue the legacy by having my reflection taken on my wedding day.
I also wouldn’t have remembered that my parents took me out in the snow in a laundry basket. Thankfully those preserved memories told my story when I was too young to remember. With those memories I was able to recreate that moment with my son.
My family has dubbed me the “Picture Police” always looking for opportunities to take a photo. They groan when I ask strangers to take our picture, but I dont stop there, I take things a step further. In my home, you will find photographs, real, honest to goodness prints. Nothing fancy in most cases just plain snapshots, some are framed on walls and shelves, others are simply display with magnets on the fridge. I also have albums…but fear not I have embraced the digital age by upgrading to printed albums. 😉 These photo albums persevere our history for future generations, they will help to tell my kids, and my gran-kids their story. These albums and photos, are where the memories of our life unfold, we laugh, I cry, we tease each other. Our life is right there in those printed images that we can hold onto.
One of my very favorite gifts to give is the gift of memories. It could be as simple as a few developed photos in a holiday card, a framed photo, to something as elaborate as a photo album. I luse Shutterfly for all of my albums, I’ve tried other programs but this one is by far my favorite. Personally I find it easy to use and I love the layouts and variety of options. They can get a little pricey, but Groupon usually has deals. I’ve often gotten promotional cards from retailers like Motherhood Maternity, Old Navy, and even LegoLand.
In our darkest moments, It’s the memories of our lives and our families that we search for to carry us through. I encourage you to embrace the “Picture Police” in yourself! For 2017 don’t just take the photos….develop them or make an album and give the gift of memories.