As this year comes to a close…

As this year comes to a close, many families are getting creative with ways to stay safe while visiting those they love. Whether that’s creating a special outdoor space with blankets and heaters, convening in warm weather destinations, or simply being mindful of vaccination status and travel requirements to keep at-risk family members safe.

In some cases, this may be the first time in two years that grandparents have been able to see their children and grandchildren. In other cases, it may still be a combination of small in-person groups and FaceTime sessions. Whatever your 2021 holiday season looks like, remember to take time with your loved ones and really cherish that time together. Over the course of these past two years, photos, videos and technology have been more important than ever for staying connected. But don’t forget that they can also be an amazing tool for capturing those moments for the future. It’s as easy as pressing ‘play’ on the voice memo app on your phone, or starting a video recording and letting it run while you chat with grandma. Just let the family know that you’d like to document the day, so they’re aware and can participate as much or as little as they’d like.

Below are a few ideas for easy and authentic ways to get started:
  • If chatting with grandparents, ask what their life was like when they were in their 20s. The story of how your grandparents met. Their favorite travel destination. Request that special story you’ve heard 100 times, but never get tired of hearing. Even if you think you’ll remember every detail, over time, those memories fade.
  • Whether the kids are playing outside, or snuggling up watching movies, take a moment to remember them this way. Ask them to take a silly picture, but capture it as a video.
  • As the family gathers around, use the panorama feature on your phone and capture the scene. Your mom and her brothers are arguing about football and watching the game. Grandpa is in the kitchen making his special dips and chips. The littlest cousins are making dinosaur sounds and zipping through each room as they take turns chasing each other. It just takes a moment, then return to joining in on the fun and absorbing the moment.
  • For family participating digitally, assign a kid to randomly press the ‘image capture’ button during the video call. You’ll end up with a hilarious collection for your photo roll.

Capturing their voices, the silly activities, and the way your grandparents look when they recount these stories will be so meaningful for you and your children as they grow older. Not for Facebook or Instagram or TikTok, just for you. And your legacy.

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