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Resolve to be Resolute
(Living This Year on Purpose)
January, for some, is a time to look back at the last 12 months and wonder - "How'd I do?" For others, the questions are more along the lines of - "How'd I get here?" Either way, we need to ask ourselves - "What's next?"
Having made our way through all the activities presented during December, we're about ready for that long winter's nap. But, instead of that or staring stupidly at the TV or computer screen we'll rejuvenate ourselves in other ways.
I usually spend time in December remembering the traditions and time we spent together around Christmas and the role that played in our lives then and now. This year, we were more deliberate with our observance of Christmas, sharing more of the traditions with our children and involving them more in the process of making our holiday memorable. It actually worked! Now we have momentum and we plan to carry this through the next 12 months. Christmas is not just an annual event, it is the basis for our lives all year long. And, we are a family all year long. We will continue to share our traditions and values with each other.
Now, to the project part. Part of our preparations for this year was getting out all the Christmas photos I could find. This is part of our ongoing project to get all of our photographs organized, identified and properly stored for the future. We all took turns looking at those Christmas photos and tried to narrow down which year they came from. We've found we'll need some help from other parts of the family to pinpoint the exact years by matching with their photographs. Once we've identified the pictures we DO have, we'll also know which ones we DON'T have. Again, we'll count on family to fill in the gaps for us. All of this was quite deliberate on our part (except the part where we lost track of all our photos and this project became necessary.)
I suggest a similar process for each of you - start with Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or any family gathering - create a photo timeline for your family. Chronicle the life of your family year by year. Once you have completed an album, move on to the next. In fact, you could have a very busy year if you were determined to complete the cycle this year. But, I recommend just starting the process this year, and making it part of every family gathering. You will have ongoing projects and scrapbooks that will continue to grow over the years, and the time spent creating them will be more precious than the holiday.
Now you know how this project connects with its title - spending time together passing on traditions, remembering your life as a family and those that contributed to you family is your legacy. It takes resolve and determination to keep the family together, and it takes a plan. It doesn't happen by accident. "Live, Love, Learn, and Leave a Legacy."
Steps for success:
- Choose an annual family gathering to highlight
- Gather all the photographs you have for that event
- Identify any photos not identified
- Sort by year
- Contact extended family to fill in any gaps (missing years) and help identify any you can't
- Put them all together in an album - make copies for other family members (they may have missing photos, too)
- Write captions or notes for the photographs. Make sure everyone participates in this
- Add other notes about the event that makes it special for your family - traditions, recipes, pictures of heirlooms - so someone can recreate the holiday from your album. You can include letters, cards, or poems from other family members, too.
- If someone has some technical ability, you may have them capture the album electronically, even adding sound, music and digital video to your album. It's the latest in home movies!
Here are some other resources:
Posted January 2004
Last modified on 2005/11/29 by skenow