As the country just celebrated Memorial Day Weekend—a time set aside to remember the men and women who have died to protect our nation—we thought it important to look at how traditions and memory-making can positively impact families as well.
Family memories go beyond just recalling good times together, vacations, birthdays, and the like. Lasting family memories can act as an anchor for all family members. Even when families are separated by distance, divorce, death, or other undesirable circumstances, strong memories can keep healthy connections alive and foster greater stability and a sense belonging.
These memories can also be a great way to establish and encourage particular family values that can be passed on to future generations.
So how do you go about being intentional about making family memories? Here are a few ways you can nurture memorable experiences and keep them alive for years to come:
- Establish Traditions – While there are plenty of national holidays, have you taken the time to make the way your family celebrates them uniquely your own? Are there special recipes you make each year that you teach your children how to make? Special events you attend, such as sunrise services, Christmas caroling, or a particular family cabin reserved for get-togethers?
- Make the Time – Think back to the important memories you have with your parents or siblings. Do they surround commonplace activities such as shopping or running errands together? Not likely. Instead, the bigger memories are from times where your family set aside time to break away from daily chores and routines to enjoy a unique activity together.
- Get Creative – Arts and crafts are a great way to preserve particular memories. This can be anything from scrapbooking to creating collages or any other crafty project that visually represents a person, place, or event you want to remember. Plus, the act of drawing, sculpting, painting, or otherwise can activate more areas of the brain and connect that memory to various sensory triggers.
- Tap into Technology – With the increasingly ubiquitous nature of mobile technology and digital recording devices (smartphones, cameras, etc.), it’s easier than ever to record photos, videos, and audio and save them in a wide variety of formats. Aside from posting media to social networks, you can also get digital photo albums printed out—not just on paper, but as images on any number of memorabilia such as mugs, aprons, magnets, and more that can be given to family members as gifts.
Have you taken any steps to preserve valuable family memories? What traditions have you established that you can’t wait to share with your own children? It’s never too late to start making memories and reaping the benefits of a stronger, more connected family.