Family traditions are ideas and activities handed down over many years and lifetimes. They are important reminders of where we came from and give us a sense of belonging. During the holidays, our choices of food, gifts, music, and decoration communicate our spiritual beliefs and family history. They reflect what we loved most about our upbringing and provide the opportunity to share and honor treasured relationships with future generations. Today, it’s easy to keep traditions alive by creating shareable Family Tradition slideshows and albums.
Gathering Unique Images and Ideas
As the next holiday season approaches, think about the traditions you enjoy sharing with family, especially with younger generations. Make a list of favorites and take pictures while these events and activities are happening. From shopping for special recipe ingredients or putting up decorations to making an advent calendar with your kids, document the things you hold dear to your heart. Some traditions come from your childhood, and others may have been created by you when you moved out on your own. Ask your children about their memories and what they want to continue to share.
Add the Story Behind the Traditions
Bob Green’s book, “To Our Children’s Children,” has a chapter on holidays and celebrations. He talks about how to start conversations between family and friends about the origins of their favorite traditions and how they became a family legacy. Document your stories in writing to add thoughts to your images. For example:
“One year, our family decided to look at Christmas lights after church. We didn’t have any extended family and were looking for an activity to fill the time until the kids went to bed. It was so much fun that we continue to do it every year.”
Sharing Traditions from the Past Using Today’s Technology
One of my greatest gifts that became a family tradition is a recipe book my husband Tom and I received at our wedding over 30 years ago. Created by my sister, she wrote recipes in her beautiful handwriting of our favorite dishes from both sides of the family. Our “Keepsake Recipe Collection” contains everything from appetizers to holiday meals we use every year. You can learn more about creating a family recipe book in an earlier post, 3 Ideas to Help You Organize and Preserve Your Favorite Holiday Recipes.
Back in 1983, my sister used a small binder designed for preserving recipe collections, and it has grown and expanded over time. Today, Picture This Organized has a step-by-step process for gathering, restoring, and protecting recipes in a shareable album. It will never get lost or damaged, and it’s easy to add more recipes later by taking pictures of typed and written recipes. Friends and relatives can make digital copies of their recipe cards or cookbook pages by scanning them to send to you via email, Google Drive, or Dropbox. Since the holidays are coming up, ask the friends and relatives to bring a recipe card to family gatherings! When your album is complete, Picture This Organized can create as many copies as you need as gifts.
Any family keepsake or memory can be digitized using smartphones or scanners and preserved in the same way.
- Food spread on the table
- Holiday music playlists and people dancing
- Heirloom decorations
- Children’s holiday arts and crafts
- Cards and letters from friends
- And more …
Pictures of all your ideas and activities can be added to an online album shared on sites like Dropbox. We can help you decide which app works best for your albums. It will enable family members to work on projects together too!
Creating a Video Tradition
Pictures don’t always give enough guidance on exactly how to make a craft, decorate a room, set the table, or cook a recipe. Taking a video is a great way to document the holiday preparations and make it just how you remember. While doing a short video clip, ask or answer questions about the details, giving tips and reasons for using a specific technique. Videos are another fun way to bring life to evolving traditions.
This is Just the Beginning
However you decide to gather and compile keepsakes, memorabilia, or recipes, creating a family album is a great way to save precious family memories. You may choose to have several albums with themes for separate traditions and can sort through images for your ideas by keeping them in different folders, binders, or boxes. Organize all of your digital pictures and scanned images of favorite holiday traditions and recipes in a filing system on a home computer, tablet, or phone.
By organizing these treasures, we can make sure future generations will be able to enjoy them forever. As our families grow, adding new favorite ideas and activities will be as easy as uploading an image or file. Helpful tools include:
- Evernote is one of many applications that you can download on your computer or phone to store notes, photos, and videos. An upgraded version allows you to upload emails and sync across multiple devices and applications, including your albums.
- Multiple note taking applications for smartphones like GoogleKeep for Android and Samsung Notes, both found in the Google App Store, and Apple Notes for iPhone.
- Paprika and Copy Me That are two popular recipe manager apps. Both include a shopping list feature.
- A digital hub and backup system on a local computer, external drive, or online cloud application make your collection of family traditions accessible to close family and friends and secure from others. Since some traditions only happen once a year, it’s nice to know you have important family history to reference in one place.
By devoting some time to organizing and backing up all of your family’s favorite traditions, you’ll know that you’ve preserved a precious part of history as a memorable gift and a strong connection to the future generations of your family. Remember, it’s not just about how to make the food, create decorations, or experience activities together, but also the people and stories behind the tradition and how it all started. Contact us for help designing your family traditions album!