Old Letters, Family Memories and Other Memorabilia
Often people receive “fun” gifts, frivolous gifts or the most recent gimmick for a birthday or holiday, but in a few weeks, it is forgotten. Give a gift that lasts a lifetime by sharing your family memories with the next generation.
A Gift They Will Cherish and Pass Down in the Family
This can be in the form of a scrapbook, a self-published book, a videotaped interview, a pretty box filled with old letters, or a framed essay. Memories that can be hung on the wall, viewed on the television or browsed in book form make a gift that will be cherished from one generation to the next. Recording these memories or saving old letters are truly a gift that lasts a lifetime.
Goofy Gifts – Who Will Remember Them?
People spend money on gag gifts. Sometimes they buy the annoying singing Christmas moose because they can’t figure out what to give. Sometimes it’s the garish Christmas socks with Santa Claus all over them. Instead of wasting your money on these, give a timeless gift of family memories.
Stop with the goofy gifts. Read on down the page to find some really meaningful gifts that will last for a lifetime.
Ideas for Meaningful Gifts
- Save Letters in Archival Sleeves in a Binder – Gather all the letters saved from the person and put them in order by the dates. Put the letters (oldest ones first) in the archival sleeves in the binder. The recipient will have hours of enjoyment re-reading their own letters from years gone by. It forms a journal or diary of their life. This also works to put older letters like a great-grandparent’s letters into a binder to give their descendant. What a treasure!
Turn Letters, Memories or a Blog into a Self-Published Book – using Blurb.com. It’s delightful to see how much this means to this woman to receive her blog made into a book.
- Make a Video to Share Family Memories – Get out the video camera (or your cellphone) and get grandma or grandpa talking about their memories.
- Give a Family Member a Journal – to start recording their childhood memories.
Create Your Own Heritage Scrapbook – with family history, copies of old photos and other memorabilia.
Supplies for the Projects
Scrapbook Photo Album Vintage Leather Memory Book 60 Pages Refillable Black Paper for Christmas Gifts Valentine’s Day Wedding BirthdayAvery 72611 Heavy-Duty Plastic Sleeves, Letter size, Archival safeAvery Products – Avery – Secure Side-Load Sheet Protectors, Archival safe, fits standard 3-ring binders.Scrapbook Storytelling: Save Family Stories and Memories With Photos, Journaling and Your Own CreativityThe Oral History Workshop: Collect and Celebrate the Life Stories of Your Family and FriendsStep-by-Step Guide: Make a Heritage ScrapbookK&Company Heritage Words Sticker MedleyTouching Tomorrow: How to Interview Your Loved Ones to Capture a Lifetime of Memories on Video or AudioHow to Create a Video Family History: The Complete Guide to Interviewing and Taping Your Family’s Stories & MemoriesBlue Embossed Dragonfly Faux Leather Journal – Lined
(Article previously published on Squidoo by Virginia Allain)
Comments and Suggestions From Friends
Suzy – “I am working on a Heritage Album now. I regret not having asked important questions when my family was alive. You’ve given some great tips that sure would have made my life easier if I would have known then what I know now.”
Susanna – “I have my great-grandmother’s photo album and, as you can imagine, I treasure it. The next person to have it will be my granddaughter.”
My suggestion for Susanna, “That is a precious family heirloom. I’d recommend scanning all the photos into the computer (may have to use a portable scanner if it is fragile). Then the photos can be shared online with more family members. They also are of historical significance, I imagine.”
Cathy – “Every Christmas I give my kids a photo album filled with pictures taken that year. Since I get them made into an actual book, there’s no way for them to take out a picture and lose it. It’s a wonderful way to preserve memories.”
Willa – “Brilliant idea. Family history once lost is lost for good. Having been in the framing industry I know how valuable a well-documented photo is because a generation or two later no one will know who they are. This is a great way to document family.”