Love your parents. We are so busy growing up that we often forget that they are also growing old.” -anonymous
Flowers and ties are always nice gifts for parents, but what if you could give the mothers or fathers in your life something they would never forget? With a little planning, this Mother’s Day or Father’s Day can be unforgettable–with an affordable gift that keeps on giving. I have two special gift ideas to share with you today. Both will be cherished for years to come.
What good is the past? Are there benefits to looking to the past? Absolutely! Here’s why the past is infinitely important to me: My grandparents lived there. I learned lessons there. I fell in love, got married, and had babies there. My grandparents passed away before any of my children could know or remember them. If I want my children to know where they came from and know those sweet people they didn’t get a chance to know, I need to take them back to the past. The best way I know of to bridge generations is using photos and memories. Photos bring people to life and put faces to names. My memories of my grandparents make them real people to my kids and provide opportunities for connections, even though they’re gone.
Is there a place, a smell, or a song that makes you feel like you’re home? What traditions make you feel like all is right in the world? Feelings of nostalgia and belonging take us to happy places. Especially in today’s busy world of distractions, getting in touch –or staying in touch– with our roots is vital. We need to connect and to feel at home. Traditions do that for us. Places do that for us. Looking back at photos and recorded memories does that for us.
For one year now (happy blogiversary to us!), I’ve been writing every #familyhistoryfriday about photos, memories, stories, family, and connections. I’ve written about why we need them so much, and what they do for us. I’ve written about how they affect self-esteem in kids, how they help kids cope with difficulty, and even how family stories are an antidote for teenage entitlement. Last fall, I included some video tutorials, just for Evolve readers, about photo organization, plus how I stay caught up preserving my photos and memories, and why it’s so important to me. I’ve shared my own experiences about how photos, memories, and stories help heal from grief. These days, most of our “photos” are just digital files, so I’ve also given lots of tips for bringing your photos to life.
If you’re new here, welcome. If you’ve been an Evolve reader for a while, thank you!! Thank you! I have a rather bold life goal to make a difference in as many lives as I can. When you come here, read, get inspired, and then take action, you’ve helped me meet my goal. I hope to reconnect as many people as I can to their photos and help them realize the importance of embracing their stories. I want their lives to be richer because of it.
Did you know the first “scrapbook” was the family Bible? Bibles quickly became family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation. People would record births and deaths in the front cover of their Bibles as early as the mid-1400s. According to The History of Scrapbooking, by the mid-1800s, publishers started including extra pages in the fronts of Bibles for people to record family births, deaths, and marriages. It became common around this time to also add newspaper clippings and other “scraps” (like crocheted bookmarks or even locks of hair) within the pages of the family Bible. My father-in-law found a tintype photo in the family Bible he inherited!
During the 1800s, photographs came into being, and printed memorabilia increased in popularity. People would save mementos and photos in “scrap books,” a word coined in the 1800s. Family scrapbooks grew in popularity between about 1920-1970. At that time, scrapbooks were books of blank pages, usually black or cream-colored, ready for photos, journaling, stories, and mementos to be kept. ScrapbookING, though, is another story.
If you’ve never heard of storybooking, you’re not alone. The most common ways to preserve pictures these days –getting them out of digital form and into your hands– is through photo books or scrapbooks. Photo books are made digitally through online companies including big box stores. You usually choose from a few pre-designed styles, plug in your pictures with a caption, and you’re done. Scrapbooks are hand-made using papers, scissors, stickers, pens, and the like. What, then, is digital storybooking, and how is it different from more well-known methods like photo books and scrapbooking?
This month’s #familyhistoryfriday posts showcase several different methods for preserving your photos and the stories that go with them, along with opportunities to win each one! It’s a fun way to celebrate our one-year blogiversary! Don’t miss the grand prize at the end of the month, too–it’s worth over $100 and comes with an extra special bonus.
Everyone has experiences they want to remember. #FamilyHistoryFriday at Evolve is about preserving those experiences through pictures, memories, stories, and connections. As we celebrate our one year blogiversary this month, that means you’ll not only find solutions for telling your personal and family stories and bringing your photos to life, but you’ll also have five chances to win some memory-keeping products and services at our giveaways! Don’t miss the grand prize at the end of the month, too–it’s worth over $100 and comes with an extra special bonus.
Where has the last year gone? It’s been a whole year since Evolve came on the scene, with a focus on inspiring us to Live, Grow, Give. I continue to be honored that Krista asked me to write each week about pictures, memories, stories, family, and connections for #familyhistoryfriday. These things are the secret ingredient to wellness of the heart and soul! I’m thrilled to be able to share real-life ways to bring the benefits of family stories into your life.
This month I’m celebrating our blogiversary with giveaways!! I will be sharing four different ways to preserve your pictures, and I’ll be giving them away, too! I’m giving away an amazing grand prize at the end of the month (worth $100+), so stay tuned.
Yesterday I was talking to a mom who told me that she specifically adds “No Gifts Please” to all her sons’ birthday party invitations. They are 9 and 7. Invariably, she said, someone will call or text saying, “Are you sure? Can’t I bring a little something?” Her response is always, “No. We have too many things.”
I am always on the lookout for meaningful gifts for this very reason. Many people have too many things. Gifts that are memorable, meaningful, and heartfelt are the very best kind, but they can sometimes be hard to come by. For the last My Favorite Things post this month, I want to provide some fantastic gift options for you all in one place. You can Bookmark or Pin this post to come back to for holidays, birthdays, graduations, milestones, anniversaries, thank-yous and other special occasions.
There are a whole wealth of products just waiting to be used to increase family connections! Quality time, conversations, recreational activities, family dinners, and parent-child “dates” all contribute to family connections, but there are other subtle but meaningful ways to strengthen family ties. The activities I mentioned need to be repeated– as well they should –to develop family connections, but it’s also helpful to scatter opportunities around your home and among family members that can be gone back to again and again.