My Cousin, John Pawlak recently posted a great original song he wrote called My Christmas Memories, (you can hear the song on my FB page) and he posted it online with an edited video of some of our Chistmas parties from many years ago when we were kids.
I hadn’t seen much of this video (actually 16mm film) for some time and it was a wonderful way of remembering what it was like to be a kid at Christmas. Also, because it was from the 70s, it also showed the images of so many people we’ve lost over the years. It was so great to see my Mom passing out big glasses of milk at the big-person’s table, and Nana, being the life of the party, as usual.
Because I hadn’t seen many of these images for such a long time, it gave me an idea for our family, and maybe your family too.
We all have stray boxes of old snapshots of the family. Maybe some are actually IN a photo album…but the problem is, as we age…we tend to hang onto the ones we have, and other families have a similar collection in their homes.
I got to thinking, wouldn’t it be a great Christmas gift for everyone to bring whatever phots they have, to the annual Christmas or Hannukah parties, and designate one or two family members to be the “family historian”?
Then they could organize, scan and burn copies for anyone else in the family to use. They could put them on CDs…flashdrives or even upload them to a website like DropBox. Then anyone who wanted to, could enjoy this BIGGER collection of photos and videos, and do whatever they’d like with them.
I remember my good friend Rick’s Mom told me a few years ago that she had done that…it took a while but she actually printed them and made family photo albums for her adult children. That’s an awful lot of work, the kind only a Grandmother would do, but just to get them all in one place and make them available for everyone would be just about the warmest Holiday gift you could give your family.
I’m going to suggest this to MY family…I’ll even volunteer to organize it, since I’m retired and have the time…No matter how it works out, I think it would be something you’d cherish and hand-down for years.
If you’re anywhere near MY age, you remember seeing pictures of your parents…usually black and white snapshots, from when they were dating or first married…many of these pictures involved old cars..picnics and almost always a bottle of beer…When I look at these photos I can’t help but imagine what was going on in their lives so long ago….they were almost always laughing or goofing around..they were having fun…full of life and all kinds of possibilities… as time goes on, things change, people pass away…so I think it’s especially helpful to keep our families memory alive about the happy times…when everyone was young..healthy and full of love.
So that’s my suggestion for you…I’ve noticed all of the younger nieces, nephews and grandkids these days are very curious about family history…it’s only natural…so now that WE are the “elders” of the group…it seems like a shame that they’d never know how rich and colorful the family they are a part of, truly is.
I’ll let you know how this works out…my thanks to my cousin John Pawlak for doing that video and you should check out his song “My Christmas Memories” on Youtube and my Facebook page.
And if you have any suggestions on how to make this idea even better, please feel free to let me know..share it with everyone else reading or hearing this. There probably is “an app for that”…something that organizes family phots, that I just haven’t heard of.
I’ll have another fireside chat soon… in the meantime: be good to each other…be good to yourself…and try and do the next right hing…that’s what I’ll be doing.