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.
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.
There’s an old African saying that when a person dies it’s as if an entire library burned to the ground. I actually think about that a lot when I encourage people to tell their stories and the stories of their loved ones. Nobody thinks his or her story is all that important or special–but if you don’t take the time to tell it, you’re lost to the world within a couple of generations. Your “library” of knowledge, experience, love, and lessons has essentially burned to the ground.
This month’s #familyhistoryfriday posts focus on that ever-elusive goal of catching up on preserving your photos. It’s easy these days to take half a terabyte worth, but that leaves us with a big challenge. When do we ever SEE them? If we have so many, how can we find time to publish them so they can be seen and loved in a tactile form? The good news is that there are several tools to help you conquer your photos. The great news is that I shared them all in an online class!
Catching up on preserving photos is a common New Year’s Resolution. Even when it’s not an official Resolution, it’s a common goal. I quite often hear people talk about their need to catch up doing something with their photos. This month on Evolve’s #familyhistoryfriday, we will focus on solutions for your resolutions. We will learn the first steps you need to take to be successful, options for both digital and already-printed photos, and the Two-in-One plan.
Christmas is arguably my favorite time of year. Christmas lights decorate homes and trees, and brighten shorter days. Festive music plays, and children are excited for gifts and we enjoy the spirit of giving. Hopefully, we remember the birth of our Savior and try to be more like Him through love and service to each other.
Christmas also brings with it gratitude for blessings over the past year and hope for the year to come. But for some, the holiday’s also bring anxiety, depression, feelings of loss, or even disappointment. Those feelings can be even worse for those who are sick, who have experienced divorce, lost a loved one, or who are far from friends and family.
Family stories (the building blocks of a family history) are beneficial to kids for many reasons. In addition to helping their self-esteem, providing a sense of belonging, and keeping entitlement in check, family stories help kids cope. The world around us is a wonderful place that can be difficult at the same time. Kids have to cope with stresses that just didn’t exist 20 years ago. Researchers have found that one of the best sources of strength and resilience for kids is knowing their family history.
So many things vie for our attention these days. It seems like we hardly have a minute to sit still. We’ve got soccer games and piano lessons and grocery shopping and laundry and (ahem) blog posts to write. And we take pictures of everything these days. Preserving those photos and the memories that go with them tend to sit on the to-do list for long periods of time for most people. But not me! And I’ll tell you why.
Because I’m habitually caught up on preserving my photos and memories, I’m sharing exactly how I do that this month on Evolve. Today I’m very excited to share the actual method I use because it’s so much fun. It helps me stay caught up on pictures because it’s addicting– I always find myself itching to create one more page or finish preserving the latest event I’ve photographed. As I mentioned last week, it’s very important to find YOUR thing when considering how to preserve your pictures and life’s stories. Trying to do something that doesn’t really jive with you doesn’t usually work.
This month on Evolve’s #familyhistoryfriday I’m sharing how I personally stay caught up preserving my own photos and memories. Being behind can be not only overwhelming but paralyzing. Last week I showed you my photo organization system that helps me know what I have and where it is. That’s the first important step to preserving pictures, but an equally important step is to do it using something you love. What type of memory-keeping method would make you look forward to sitting down and preserving your photos? Your chosen method should be something do-able, something in both your price range and interest. Mostly, though, it should be addictive. (I’m not kidding.) It should be something that draws you back again and again. Choosing a memory-keeping method you love is crucial to your success in staying caught up preserving your pictures.