Summary: The article lists several ways to preserve family memories for the future generation to enrich a family’s history.
Memories become more vivid if they have something to attach themselves to. Making memories that span generations can more closely bind the ties between family members, especially between the young and old.
1. Updated Photographs
An actual photograph in your hands is a lot better than a digital picture on a phone. The physical aspect makes it more unique and valuable, something you can touch and lose certainly feels more important than an uploaded photo. Of course, older photographs from before the 90s are susceptible to wear and damage. You might need to employ high-end photo-retouching services to make older photos come to life.
Showing kids a photo album is more intimate than having them scroll through a phone. Photographs also evoke deeper memories, as they were usually reserved for exceptional occasions as film was limited. Of course, you can still opt to take actual photos (with film and photo paper), or you can use a printer to get a physical copy.
2. Digital Media
Preserving images and videos in digital form comes with a little bit of risk. Phones can get lost, hard drives can crash, and social media sites can get accessed by individuals, not to your liking. You can make copies of important photos and videos on flash drives or external drives. Make sure to archive them with a password so that they won’t be accessed by anyone. Putting data in the cloud comes with a bit of risk.
While big tech sites like Google (Google Photos), Facebook (together with Instagram), and Amazon (Prime) will probably be in existence 20-30 years from now, they can also be the target of data hacks and breaches. CDs and DVDs are other options, but the technology can go the way of floppy drives and VHS tapes in a few more years. Of course, you can always print out more significant photos. Ink-jet prints on premium photo paper are actually quite resilient. They are not as susceptible to fading and could last decades even without protective covers.
3. Laser Engravings
Capturing photos in wood is a more permanent option for physical photos. Laser engravers can capture many details, bringing photos to life, albeit in a seemingly black and white medium. Engraved photos will seem much more meaningful, and using wood also gives them a sense of permanence.
Wooden engravings will not fade or get easily damaged. They are best used to commemorate more intimate moments like weddings, pleasing family photos, or a big catch while fishing. While wood is the most common medium for laser engraving, it can also be used with metals, ceramics, glass, or even cloth.
4. Oral Histories and Tales
Stories shared within the family are a great way to cultivate bonds and strengthen relationships. A story about Uncle Ben and his accomplishments and misadventures is a great way to pass the time over a warm fireplace. Accompanying photos can make the stories come alive and give kids a clearer idea of life from before their generations and how the family once lived.
Stories have a certain magic in them. They can inspire, teach a lesson, or earn a few laughs. Stories may change as the generations pass, with some of the more important, unusual, or funny stories continuing to get told. Present family members can also get their stories told, but it would have to be a good one to last more than a few generations.
5. Challenge Coins for Family
A physical item, or memento of sorts, is a great way to mark a special event or accomplishment. Handing out special coins to family members can make them feel like they are part of an elite group. Coins to mark achievements can also be fun, especially with engaging engravings. Of course, don’t go all out with the coins because too many will make them seem like the badges they use for the boy scouts.
Use one side for the family crest (make one if you don’t) and the other to mark an occasion or achievement. A coin upon reaching 7 years of age is a good way to inspire wonder in a child and make him/her feel more attached to the family. Challenge coins are permanent, proving familial bonds as the family branches out through the generations. They can be secret society serious or just a fun practice.
A rich family history can provide a solid foundation for family members to learn, bond, wonder, or have a few laughs. Make your life lessons and memories span decades — and strengthen familial bonds throughout generations.