Say something special has happened: a landmark birthday, an unbelievable vacation, a graduation, a wedding, a birth, etc. Everybody’s life is full of moments that deserve to be immortalized.
In our modern age, we live much of our lives on our phones and behind our screens, and physical momentos can seem rare. And the truth is, digital momentos often have a shorter lifespan than physical momentos do. Though something could potentially live in cyberspace as long as we have computer servers, how many times have you thrown out an old computer or smartphone only to find that you had no other copies of those pictures from last year?
It’s time to take a stand against those accidental acts of forgetting, and we’ve put together a few ideas for keeping those memories around. These make for great gifts, creative decorations, and terrific activities.
Hang a photo painting on your wall
Say you have a moment you want to be reminded of whenever you’re in your living room or your office. And maybe you want something a little more sophisticated than a simple printed photo in a frame. What should you do? Try asking a company to “paint my photo”. Certain companies will hire a professional painter to hand-paint a photo that you send them. Their professional artists realistically render your photographs in oil, acrylic, watercolor, or pastel, and you receive an emblem of that memory that is both beautiful and unique.
Memorialize your travels with a scratch map
If you’re the type of family that loves to travel, you probably have pictures from all over the world. But sometimes you don’t just want to have pictures of where you’ve been, you want something that offers a glimpse of all the places where you could go, or something that might act as a conversation starter at a glance. And hey, if you travel enough, sometimes it can be hard to remember all the places you’ve been. A scratch map is a physical log of your adventures, one that you and your family can use to plan that next big getaway.
Make your memories part of a hilarious party game
By now, everybody is probably familiar with the viral game Cards Against Humanity. This game, famous for its black humor, involves pairing fill-in-the-blank prompts with statements to create bizarre, risque, and hilarious combinations. While the typical box contains prompt and answer cards that are already filled out, the makers of the game have templates for blank cards freely available online, which you can fill in however you choose. If you take an evening to fill in the prompt and answer cards with family-specific memories — they can be embarrassing, taboo, in-jokes, or anything else you feel your family would appreciate — you’ll have a game night full of raucous laughter awaiting you. As they say, the family that laughs together, stays together.
Collect your family stories into a book
Which family doesn’t have a bevy of great stories? Intangible as they are, stories bind families together, creating a shared identity around which families identify themselves. The practice of collecting and preserving these stories is known as oral history, but it does not need to be limited to historians and anthropologists.
You can collect your family stories into a book, ready to be picked up, read, and appreciated at any time. These make great gifts, but they’re also a great marker of identity and a chance to preserve those wonderful moments without relying on something as slippery as memory.