How is it possible that Christmas will be here and gone in less than a week?! All this time preparing for the holiday and yet it unfortunately comes and goes so quickly, leaving us with only our memories. Wouldn’t it be great if we could bottle the smell of Christmas breakfast, the look of excitement on our child’s face as they see that Santa delivered, or the sound of Christmas music mixed with laughter as we gather with our loved ones? I’ve compiled a list of 10 ways to document your holiday memories so that you can relive them for years to come!
1) Yearly ornament
Homemade or purchased, you can’t go wrong! Growing up, my grandmother always stitched an ornament for all of us cousins. She’d include the year and a slot for our picture, making for a wonderful and heartfelt present. However, you definitely don’t have to craft to implement this tradition, as personalized ornaments are now easier than ever.
A quick search online yields numerous companies with ready to go date stamped ornaments. (I personally love PersonalizationMall and Shutterfly). Simply upload your kiddo’s photo and you are good to go. Or easier yet, swing by a local store and pick up a yearly ornament where you can insert your child’s school picture and call it a day! No matter how you get there, the end result is a great way to document memories. Every year you (along with your children) will love unwrapping their old ornaments and seeing how much they have changed from one Christmas to the next.
2) Yearly picture in front of the same location
Choose a location that you know will stay consistent from year to year. A few examples include: the Christmas tree, your front door, or in front of the fireplace with stockings hanging from the mantle. Capture either a family picture or one of just your child/children at this location. From year to year you’ll love looking back and seeing how much everyone has changed. Want to take this documentation tip one step further? Make a sign that states the year and have someone in the picture hold it. This will make flipping back through photos that much easier.
3) Handprint/footprint keepsake
Using acrylic paint have your child make a handprint or footprint design on a ceramic plate, bowl or mug. Then bake it in the oven (being sure to add the date) and enjoy the keepsake for years to come. (I recommend putting the masterpiece in the oven prior to pre-heating. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Allow oven to completely cool before removing the item to ensure the object doesn’t crack.) Another option is to press your child’s handprint or footprint into clay in order to form a fun ornament for your tree.
4) Scrapbooking letter to Santa
It is amazing how much certain gifts can trigger memories. Scrapbooking your child’s letter to Santa will help remind you of their current interests at this point in their life. Looking for a letter to Santa? Enjoy my free printable. (It is not too late for your kiddo to write to Santa!). Download the letter to Santa here.
5) Save your holiday (photo) card
Do you send out a photo card every year? If so, here is one more way to document your holiday memories. Be sure to keep a card for yourself every year and add it to the pile. Every Christmas be sure to find a location in your home to display your current card and all the ones from the years prior. Personally, I love looking back at how much everyone has changed throughout the years.
6) Photo stocking stuffer
Take a picture of your child holding their favorite gift from Christmas each year. Print and date the back of the picture. Then simply put the picture inside your child’s stocking. Every year add a picture to the stocking. This is a super fun way to enjoy the holiday memories when kicking off the holiday season. Each year as you hang the stockings, enjoy a walk down memory lane.
7) Video footage
Nothing beats getting out the video camera and capturing raw footage. Videotape your children opening their presents from Santa, or capture your loved ones having fun and conversing with others. Just add popcorn and you are set for family movie nights for years to come.
8) Start a holiday journal
Grab a notebook and designate it your “Christmas Journal”. Print a few of your favorite pictures from the holiday and place them in your book. Alongside the pictures, be sure to write about some of your favorite memories from the season. Don’t forget to date your entry. Year after year, add to your Christmas Journal for a fun way to compare and relive your memories.
9) Make a scrapbook
Capture a ton of pictures from the holiday? Good work! Now go online and create a digital photo book. The idea is less intimidating than you might think. There are multiple apps these days that allow you to simply upload your pictures and a photobook is magically created for you. Worried about the cost? Thanks to frequent discounts at companies like Shutterfly, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to make this a reality. Often times Shutterfly even offers a free 8×8 photobook when you pay shipping. Can’t beat that deal!
10) Christmas memory tracker (FREE printable)
I’ve created a fun and free printable that you can simply download, print and use to document your holiday memories. Either help your child or allow them to independently fill out the form. The form includes prompts such as “one nice thing you did this year” or “one goal for next year”. After filling out the form, take a picture of your child holding it. Be sure to repeat every year for a fun and unique way to look back on the years! Click here for a direct link to print the form.
There you have it– ten fun ways to document your holiday memories for this year and years to come. Don’t let the holidays pass you by this year without choosing at least one way to document YOUR memories. A little work now will result in endless joy for ages!
How do you document your holiday memories? I’d love to know!
Please note that the files for this “Christmas Memory Tracker” is for personal use only. Redistribution and/or reselling for commercial use is strictly prohibited. If you would like to share this “Christmas Memory Tracker” with friends, you are free to do so but must link directly back to this post. Please do not link directly to the download file. Thank you!