By Tammy Ruggles
When you really think about it, life is a series of memories, both good and bad. Memories can be the most important things we cherish as we get older–memories of family, friends, vacations, special occasions.
For the next holiday season, why not help bring those special memories alive by creating a memory book? It isn’t that hard to do, and it will be a very personal gift that will mean more than that perfume or greeting card you were thinking about buying.
What makes a memory book easy to do is the fact that you can buy some of the materials that are already made, like blank books, theme pages, and little extras like glitter or sparkled stickers and markers.
This is where your creativity comes in. Once you buy your blank book, fill it with pages of photos that you find that depict special moments in the lives of you and your loved one, like holidays, milestones, quiet times at home, or other special occasions. One idea is to get a photo from each year. Then, write personal notes or captions under the photos to say how you feel about the person receiving the gift.
You can even find old greeting cards, cut out the artwork or verse, and paste them into the pages as a creative collage.
If you’ve saved little trinkets over the years that mean something special to the both of you, like movie ticket stubs, or ribbons, or certificates of achievement, you can tape or paste those throughout the pages too.
If you are looking for a different way to create the memory book, there are websites that you can go to where you can upload pics and text. This makes the process a little easier. Then you just print the pages out and insert them in the book, or, a more expensive way is to order a memory book from the site and let them do the assembling for you. You get to choose the pics and layout, and prices vary.
The words you write don’t have to be poetry. Just writing simple memories such as “Remember the time we…” will be enough to make the memory book special to that special someone.
For grandkids, and even kids at heart that enjoy Halloween, it isn’t hard to find spooky images or little trinkets to affix to the pages of the holiday book.
For Thanksgiving, try writing in a note just how thankful you are to have that person in your life. If you happen to have a photo of the two of you at a Thanksgiving dinner, it would make a nice addition.
If the recipient is a veteran, perhaps you could add a miniature flag, or find a few famous quotes to cut out and glue to a page, for the 4th of July, Veteran’s Day, or Memorial Day.
Birthday memory books are a special treat for grandparents and grandchildren to make and share together. It’s fun for adults to pore over photos and memories from the past, but children like to do it too. They love hearing stories about the cute or funny things they did when they were babies, or the places they went, and the things they did. Even if you have an older grandchild, niece, or nephew, it isn’t too late to start a memory book. Just go back through your photo albums and find pictures of them that best show their personalities, perhaps a few of you and the youngster together.
Another addition to the memory book is a DVD or flash drive of old video clips and photos. It’s an ideal way to celebrate the past and look forward to the future.
Other milestone items to add to the book include: Wedding rice wrapped in a small pouch of lace and tied with a ribbon, an award ribbon, pennant, button, concert tickets, pressed and dried flowers, a page from a favorite book, a family tree, birth announcements, graduation notices, or just about anything relevant that is thin enough to press into the pages of a book.
For background pages, consider cutting out wallpaper squares or gift wrapping paper, and pasting them in.
This gift will be like no other, because it is personalized. Everyone wants to feel needed and appreciated for uniqueness, it’s just that they may not always know how to say it or show it. A handmade memory book is the perfect solution.
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