Memories are forever but only if you share them with others! Why not make a permanent record of your personal history through photos, journals or recordings that you can give to your children and grandchildren? There are some easy ways that you can create a gift for yourself (and for others) that will not only be personal but long lasting as well. Here are some tips for getting started:
There are many imaginative ways to display photos and tell a story through them. Apple offers a service that allows you to upload your photos and they will create a hardbound album or even a calendar for you. You can customize with different layouts, colors, text etc. It is fairly easy to get started and it makes an amazing gift. If you don’t have a Mac, then Shutterfly and even Walgreens offer similar services. You can even create coloring books or gift cards out of your photos and Really Color is a great place to get started.
Record your oral history
Story Corps.org is a non-profit that allows you and a loved one to record your story and then archive it at the Library of Congress. They offer venues around the country and they also have an app that you can use if you cannot get to one of their physical locations. It is a great way to spend some time with your children or grandchildren and have some of your life stories saved for future generations. Go to www.storycorps.org to learn more. You can also use an app such as My Heritage which allows you to record your oral history and then connect it to your family tree.
Share through social media
You are probably already using Facebook to share photos with family and friends but there are other tools that are primarily focused on capturing images such as Instagram and Pinterest. Instagram allows you to share and edit photos as well as videos. You can also display photos through Pinterest and many people use it as a way to find things that inspire them and share that inspiration with others. For example, you could share places that you have traveled or architecture that you are passionate about. However, you can also use it to create an inspiration board about your family history. It is fairly easy to set up accounts on your own but it could also be a great project to do with a friend or relative. www.pinterest.com, www.instagram.com
Make a collage
If you want to do something a little less high tech but just as memorable, create a set of collages that represent different periods in your life. Organize photos from certain events, trips, time periods etc. and make a collage that can be put in a book or showcased in a frame or even on an iphone case. For more ideas, go to Collage at www.collage.com. You can also get your creative juices flowing by viewing some examples specifically created to remember travel experiences at https://www.gadventures.com/blog/travel-collage-memories-scrapbook/
Write it down
Photos capture certain elements of your life but words can paint a thousand pictures! Jotting down old family stories to share with the next generation is a priceless gift. Why not start writing a journal or putting new and old letters together in an album so that they can be preserved? They provide a great way to remember day to day activities, timely news events or musings on a particular topic and they also show a different side of you through your written words.
So whether you decide to go high or low tech, the goal is the same and that is to leave a lasting remembrance of your life experiences. Recorded memories can be an instant heirloom that your loved ones will cherish far more than any other gift they receive.