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Starting A Family Tradition Journal or Scrapbook

Inspiration | 21 November 2020

Now is the best time to think of starting a new tradition in your family. With the holiday season on our doorstep, it's easy to feel inspired.

This post may contain affilate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

We work, have obligations, chores, things to do, errands to run, be there, do that. Chores, chores, endless chores. And then, there comes the holiday. Really, just any holiday will do for us to change our perspective of thinking, to wind down, to spend quality time with our family and friends.

Holidays exist so that we could stop being "every day" and become "a special day or days", dedicated to something greater than ourselves. Even more, the whole world or at least a large portion of the world celebrates together and, for that day, we all become a part of one huge tribe.

On holidays, while celebrating whatever that day presents, we step up from the mundane, we cherish our time, feel the importance of our existence, become more introspective, the part of the world that celebrates with us, connect, have the time dedicated to joy, relaxation and getting together. That is why it is so important to celebrate every single holiday that has meaning to you.

Celebrating Holidays isn't just buying presents. More important is the time we spend together and truly celebrate the holiday's meaning.

Skipping holidays, however, saying they're not important, that celebrating holidays is frivolous, makes your year have nothing special about. No special day whatsoever except, perhaps, your birthday?

Holidays are a good thing in life and you shouldn't rob yourself of them. If you don't like all that surrounds holidays, just try and figure out what you don't like. The point is that your holidays don't have to be like all the other people you know or watch on TV. There are important things that might be overlooked, so going with the flow shouldn't be the option.

What you can do and should do whether you like celebrating or not is to re-think the core meaning of every upcoming holiday. Here are some things to contemplate upon:

  • what is the core meaning of that particular holiday and why is it important

  • what are traditions connected to that holiday and their meaning; hence will you keep them?

Let me make just a little digression where I would like to remind you why do people keep traditions.

Traditions are connected to the identity of your roots. Where you belong, where you came from; just like the language, traditions and rituals live because people keep them so. Saying traditions don't matter anymore is just not true. You might follow them or not, but you need to know of them and be informed of what are yours.

Now I'm not saying any of these is good or bad, I'm merely pointing out the substance of having a holiday without all modern/commercial stuff that surrounds each one of them, in order to distinguish what is important for the essence of one particular holiday and what you don't need if you don't like.

Don't ever let anyone make you feel guilty because you didn't do what was expected of you. Your life, your choices. The stupidest thing you might do is going into debt just to buy presents, or to do the things you dislike only because it's how it is done.

The most important thing about holidays is that people connect and spend quality time together in a beautiful atmosphere and good spirit and not what they eat or how much or how many presents they buy. It's the essence that matters. Food and presents are just embellishments.

When a holiday is approaching, goosebumps are slowly forming in your system. The time, how much, what recipes, who, what?

A good thing is when family comes over a little before the holiday itself because preparations are also memorable!

I will always cherish wonderful festive time with my mom and sister when we were preparing all the big and little things, including buying, preparing dishes, cleaning the house together with the sounds of our favorite music and lots, lots of good moods. Because our home needed to be festive too before we would head to another city to visit our grandparents.

And I loved helping grandma too. Because we would get creative together, we talked; I learned a lot during those days about how my grandma makes things, how she cooks and some things that were in her youth, that are no longer practiced.

I am telling you this to remind you how even preparation for holidays brings people together, makes warmth and a sense of belonging that you just can't have on a regular day when everybody is busy.

So, start planning a lovely time together and make it memorable!

Starting A Holiday Scrapbook And What It Might Mean To You In A Long Run

If you never made any holiday scrapbook in your life, or if you delay starting one 'till the next year or, maybe even the year after, know that this year is just another wasted opportunity for you to document your life.

Documenting how your family celebrates, joyful moments together will make a difference when you start forgetting little things about each and every holiday you've had. It will mean the world to your children and grandchildren when the time fades years that passed.

So, make your favorite tea, cuddle in a blanket and let's plan!

Separate Scrapbook For Every Holiday

First of all, I recommend planning before executing. Planning before the holiday and executing after and not only when it comes to photographs (which is obvious), but buying papers and embellishments and choosing the final layout.

Thus, what to do in the planning phase? Here are some ideas:

  • Choose a theme

  • Make a list of phases

  • Choose layouts for every phase

  • Jot in your planner to keep a camera or a phone with yourself all the time and to keep taking pictures (even with an apron, no wait, especially with an apron).

Choosing A Theme for Your Family Tradition Scrapbook

The best practices are to follow your heart but to define it so you wouldn't end up being all over the place. The most beautiful books, magazines and scrapbooks are those who have a certain visual identity.

In plain English that is to say "choose a theme".

If you feel inspired, open your journal and start writing.

Your theme can be anything you feel has a meaning for a holiday approaching. Let's choose Christmas, for example. What do you want to express?

Don't mind the trends. They are there to serve you if you'd like, but if something else speaks more profoundly to you, do that. Let's say that this is your first Christmas scrapbook. The trends say natural materials in moody colors or muted pastels. You say I want it glossy cherry red and mint. That's it! It is crucial that you follow your inner need because that is one more thing you will make memorable when you open your scrapbook years after.

If you want to follow trends, I have an article about them just here, for Fall/Winter 2020.

Make A List Of Phases

Start with things that you have to do, like chores, cooking, buying, etc. Fill with things you like to do between chores like cooking scent for home so it smells heavenly.

Don't Miss On Taking Photos!

On every good photo there is at least one bad. So, when you shoot, shoot twice or three times from one angle. Then change the angle. Always check your photos to see if they were blurred and try not to breathe when taking a picture.

Backup On The Run

Upload your photos on the computer whenever you get some time. Things happen. You don't want them to happen to you :)

The Holiday Is Over. Time To Start Your Scrapbook

Everything starts with a title, but I advise you to leave the room for the title page and do it last, unless you have the clear vision of how you want it to look, then don't skip.

The reason behind is that title page is important and you'll loose valuable time looking at the empty page with countless of ideas running in lightspeed through your mind.

Rather than that, start sorting photos. I always do chronological sorting first. A folder Before, During and After are my main folders. While designating photos to them, avoid bad shots. Note that some of the badly taken photos can be used as a part of the story or as a background, so don't delete them just yet.

Next, pick some highlights. While browsing through photos, you might notice something that will caught your attention, like something your kids do, or certain behavior pattern. These are valuable things for the story, even without any text.

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