The holidays are all about making memories and sharing stories from years past. However, when January 1st rolls around and you finally come out of the fog of hosting guests and cooking and buying and wrapping gifts, it can be hard to remember the highlights.
The holidays can usher in a wide range of emotions from happiness to stress and sadness or even disappointment. Within the twits and diversity of these emotions, many of us want to remember the small moments that make this time of year so special. Whether it is the excitement of a first December together or the despair of a last, families are always looking for unique ways to remember the season.
To help eliminate the stress of adding one more thing to your to do list, below are some easy ways to memorialize this year!
Create a family cookbook
Does your family make a special sugar cookie every year, or are is there a lasagna recipe that no one but your mother can make? Unfortunately, many of these recipes are kept in the heads of the chef themselves and are never passed down to future generations! This holiday season park yourself in the kitchen and write down ALL the traditional recipes that grace your table each year!
In addition to writing down the recipes, take pictures of the food or your loved ones enjoying it to accompany the recipe. Next, there are online publishers like Snapfish or Mixbook that will allow you to upload both text and photos and create a homemade cookbook. Print multiple copies and give them for gifts throughout the year!
Record family stories
Taking videos couldn’t be easier than it is today. Record members of your family telling stories about the season or other family favorites. The gift and art of storytelling is something that isn’t as prevalent anymore, and unfortunately many family stories remain untold. Get the whole family involved in this! Have a teen who is a wiz at technology? Enlist their help to record and edit the videos. Upload the lot to a cloud-based server so family members across the country can download it at any time.
Save some of your holiday tree
For those of you that have a live tree displayed in your house, cut a small section off the trunk and turn it into an ornament for next year. Write down the year and who joined you that December, and tie it off with a string to create a homemade ornament.
If you don’t have a live tree, you can also make other ornaments to commemorate each year. Take a picture of your family doing something fun like building gingerbread houses or ice skating. Place the picture in a clear, plastic ball ornament and hang on the tree. You can even put a small trinket like a movie ticket or repeat in the ball with the picture to commemorate the year!
If you are trying to sneak a little school work in over Christmas break, this is the perfect way to mesh fun and learning. Have your children—no matter their age—write or color their favorite holiday memories of the year. From illustrations to funny stories you can gain a unique perspective on what your children love as well as have their work for years to come.
Season’s time capsule
After the holidays are over, place some of your favorite pictures or cards in a time capsule! This doesn’t have to be the movie-quality type that is space aged and indestructible! A simple shoebox will work. Label the year and put it away. Wait three to five years before pulling it out. If you do this every year, you will soon have a treasure box of memories to open yearly for many Decembers to come!
Also published on Medium.