Memory Project Idea for Valentine’s Day

I love creating family history videos and think they are the ultimate way to share and remember someone’s story.

But sometimes, they aren’t always the ideal solution.

Sometimes, there isn't enough time or budget for a video project. Or in my case this past December, I wanted to do something special for my Dad’s 70th birthday, but had already made several videos of his story.

I wanted to do something different.

And then I remembered a special project that my client Joyce had created for her Dad’s 75th birthday. It was a book she titled, “Ben, Remember When?” She asked each family member and many of his close friends and relatives to write a special note to her Dad. Some wrote specific stories of things that had happened with Ben. Others shared general thoughts and ideas about him. Some even “roasted him” with jokes. She compiled all of the stories, typed them up and had them published into a beautiful leather-bound book.

When I met Ben years later to work with him on his video life story for his 90th birthday, he handed me the book proudly, saying that everything I needed to know about him I could find in this book. He LOVED that book and never ceased to show it to anyone that came to his apartment.

So for my own Dad’s birthday, I decided to adapt this lovely idea. I used Mixbook, an online photo book program that was incredibly easy to use and completely customizable. I decided that each child, grandchild or in-law would have their own special section. Each section was filled with pictures of that person and my Dad from over the years. On certain pages, each person had the opportunity to write a story or a poem or draw a picture, sharing what he means to them.

The book now sits on his coffee table. I know he’s proud to share it and happy to have it. It was a wonderful way to honor him on his birthday, and let him know what he means to us.

Whether it’s a gift for a special birthday or this upcoming Valentine’s Day, sharing the stories you remember with the people you love most is one of the best gifts you can give.

I know for my Dad, it was something that another set of slippers or a tie just wouldn’t do.