Archive for the ‘Christmas Memories’ Category

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Christmas Traditions You Can Share With Your Family

Being part of a family inevitably means there will be traditions passed down through the years. Many people share specific Christmas traditions with their family that they learned from their own families growing up.

But maybe you’re just beginning your Christmas holidays as a family and you don’t really have any traditions of your own yet. There are many popular traditions that you can pick from and make them a part of your own holiday traditions. There are traditions that are suitable for any age group.

One favorite holiday tradition in many families is making Christmas cards to send out. You can choose to send cards personalized with your own family photo and a poem or a few lines telling the receiver what they mean to you. If you don’t have the time to make Christmas cards, you can get store bought ones and add your own touch to them.

Another well-known holiday tradition is attending a church event together. Many churches have Christmas Eve services that are beautiful with all the decorations and the soft glow of candlelight. Many churches choose to pass on the live poinsettias they use in decorations on to the people who attend the service.

Young children can write letters to Santa and take it to the local post office. Some post offices have a special box set up just for letters from Santa. Kids can also get involved in decorating the Christmas tree and as you hang the ornaments on the tree, if there’s no history behind the ornaments, you can share bits of your history with your child or talk about the meaning of Christmas.

Putting up the tree can become a time of sharing conversation that children look forward to. You can start a tradition of listening to certain songs as you put up the tree. One family listened to Bing Crosby Christmas songs while putting up their tree over forty ago, then their grown children kept up the tradition and later passed it on to their children.

A well received tradition is the practice of dining by candlelight on Christmas Eve and afterward, each family member opens one gift. You’ll want to set aside a particular gift on Christmas Eve so that you’re not digging through the piles of gifts to find it.

After the gifts are open, gather together to sing Christmas songs. Christmas is filled with anticipation of the coming day and the days leading up to it should be celebrated just as much as the day is.

Most cities have Christmas parades or Christmas music shows that residents can attend. Make it a habit to attend one every year. The night before Christmas, begin the tradition of reading a Christmas book, sharing the Christmas story, or watching a much loved Christmas movie together. Whatever traditions you decide to incorporate into your family, you’ll be glad you did. It’ll make the holidays more meaningful and give everyone something to look forward to.

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Getting Your Family to Take the Perfect Christmas Picture

There is some squabbling about whether or not family Christmas pictures should be taken at home or whether the family should go to a professional photographer. What’s the right answer? Both! You should take your family to a professional photographer to get a family Christmas picture made.

You can have everyone dress in their Christmas outfits and a photographer can capture that special Christmas and it’s forever preserved for you and your loved ones. On the other hand, going to a professional photographer isn’t cheap. So if you want other images of Christmas to save in your scrapbook or share with family, you’ll have to learn how to take that perfect picture yourself.

With all of the user-friendly digital cameras available today, that won’t be a difficult task. The functions on these cutting edge cameras can completely take away that weird glassy red-eyed look that we all hate.

You don’t have to worry about making sure you’ve got the focus correct – most digital cameras have auto focus. Best of all, digital cameras don’t cost anything for you to share with family or friends.

Just upload the photos into your computer, attach them in an email and off they go! You can instantly share. Not only that, but you can take the digital photos to your local film developer and have them printed onto gift items such as coffee mugs or calendars. Every grandparent loves photos of the grandkids.

You can have family members dress in opposite colors – the men in red and the women in white. Or you can use contrasting shirts and pants. Using a digital camera to take the picture, that’s the easy part, but as everyone knows, getting the family to sit still long enough (and not make animal faces at the lens) while trying to take a photo can seem like a Herculean task. How can you get around that?

Don’t take the photo at your house. Take your Christmas photos elsewhere, like outside. Let your kids do what comes naturally. Laugh and have fun playing. Shots that aren’t posed make some of the best Christmas photos.

You can also go to area businesses for your Christmas pictures. Since businesses are looking to pull in the Christmas shoppers before, during and after Thanksgiving, they’re going to go ahead and set up displays featuring Christmas scenes.

You can get pictures of your family in front of these displays. If the business won’t let you do that, head for a smaller shop and just ask. Most business owners are happy to oblige. The perfect Christmas picture is the one where everyone in the photo is wearing a genuine smile and the camera has captured the true beauty of the moment.

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Heirloom Christmas Decorations You Can Pass Down Among Generations

We all have items that were given to us by our parents or grandparents that become very dear to our hearts. They’re treasures that we take care of and every time we see the item, it brings to mind the memories of special days from childhood or special times spent with the person. Many families have heirloom Christmas decorations that have been passed down since the early nineteen hundreds.

Heirloom gifts are like pieces of puzzle piecing one generation together with another. Some people didn’t come from families where Christmas decorations were passed down and everything you decorate with you purchased yourself.

If you don’t have that legacy, it’s not too late to start the tradition and it’ll have special meaning with your loved ones. You can start the tradition and give your own family something they’ll treasure and pass along to their family.

Heirloom Christmas decorations range from simple to elaborate from plentiful to rare finds. You can find something to give everyone you care about and giving heirloom gifts don’t have to be limited to family. If you have a friend you consider as close as family, you can give them Christmas gifts to start the same tradition and that’s a great gift idea.

Christmas ornaments that are carefully hand painted, numbered and signed by artists are one such decoration that can become an heirloom decoration. You can find these ornaments with Christmas scenes on them or they can be simple ornaments decorated with bright colors and bits of ornamental beads.

Another ornament good for collecting to pass down are the fragile mouth blown ones. These ornaments are finely made in such places as Italy, Germany, Poland, Egypt and other countries where the art itself is a tradition taught for centuries. Because they’re imported and because of the workmanship involved, these are at the high end as far as prices go.

You can also find treasured heirloom ornaments here in the United States that can become part of your family history. Some companies offer characters from children’s fairy tales as heirloom ornaments.

Heirlooms don’t have to be limited to be Christmas ornaments only. You can find books that can be heirloom gifts to pass down. There are Christmas dolls you can display around your home and then give to your family. There are Christmas quilts that are heirloom quilts, trains for the boys in your family.

If your children are already grown, you can still start the practice of giving them heirloom gifts, especially if you give them gifts done by a particular ornament creator or an artist. More than the object itself, these heirloom Christmas decorations are a way of preserving the love you have for family and friends throughout the years.

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Record Your Christmas Memories With Video

Keeping visual records in pictures is long standing tradition in most families. The images are taken, carefully labeled and dutifully stored away.  Taking snapshots of your Christmas moments are a good idea, but they can’t capture the animation, the sound of the holidays in real time. Making a Christmas video will not only give you years of enjoyment, but you can send a DVD of the video to family who couldn’t make it in to celebrate the holiday with you.

When digital recorders first hit the market, they were bulky in craftsmanship and they were expensive on top of that. Now, though, digital recorders are affordable, lightweight and can easily be tucked away in a pocket to be pulled out. They’re ready to go (many in less than two seconds) and they can get that moment you want to save captured. They’re definitely a worthy investment.

These handy video recorders are compatible with computers. Once you capture the images, you can enhance them with fonts, background colors, online scrapbook pages and more.

You can share with your family and friends on all your social media sites and you can even digitally add Christmas music to the background. You can create virtual storybooks starring your family and they make great gifts even for the hard to please relative.

Unlike cameras, you don’t have to leave out one family member since someone has to take the picture and unlike cameras, you won’t get a blurred image of someone running to jump into the scene before the flash goes off.

With a video recorder, you can set it to record when you want it to record plus, with tripods, you can set it up in any room in your house. Make sure that whichever room you use has adequate lighting.

Make sure the room is neat and that any cups or plates from snacking aren’t showing up in the background. Make sure your video recorder has an adequate battery supply. Always keep extras on hand during the holidays.

You can record each event for Christmas – from the visiting to the opening of gifts to the sharing of holiday meals. When you purchase a video recorder, you want to aim for the top of the line.

Get the best quality video recorder that you can find to save your holiday memories. Don’t use your regular digital camera with video function because those are often grainy and out of focus.

With a video camera, you can also keep traditions alive. When recording your holiday memories, you can interview each family member and have them share their favorite holiday memory from both past and present Christmas celebrations. Have them talk about what traditions mean the most to them – this is a good way to pass those traditions down to the next generation.

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