We spend more time at home around the holidays. We put a lot of time into cleaning, decorating, baking and cooking. Why not capture these special holiday memories with photos you can enjoy the rest of the year? Then you can take your favorite photos and make a holiday memory book (Mixbook, Walmart, Costco and more).
Let's take this idea a step further. Instead of rushing around and doing everything yourself, why not invite guests to join you for a tree decorating party or an afternoon baking cookies? That's how you can turn chores into holiday memories you'll cherish for years to come.
Creating Holiday Memories with Great Photos
Unless you're meeting a professional photographer, you probably don't think about what makes a good photo. Here are some of the best tips learned from the pros, including Linda Holt who's a professional photographer and interior designer.
- Wear your favorite clothes, preferably solid colors so the focus is on you and not the clothes. If you're having guests over and want to take group photos, suggest they wear one color that fits the holiday or your home's decor.
- Pick a few spots in your home that provide a great backdrop for photos. Arrange furniture like a chair, a decorated fireplace mantel or seating around the fireplace.
- Make sure your photo spots have good lighting. If there's too much shade in a dark corner, now's the time to get a new floor lamp or borrow one from somewhere else in the house. Consider natural sunlight for daytime activities.
- Learn about features on your smart phone that make it easy to capture photos quickly as kids and pets are always on the move. Linda's article, Photographing pets and kids, explains how the burst feature works on iPhones.
- Collect props that make it fun for guests to get into a photo taking mood. Now you've got a reason to pick up some reindeer antlers and the Santa hat you've been wanting for years.
Fun Activities to Capture Holiday Memories
Every family has their special holiday traditions they grew up with. There's no rule that says you can't tweak these traditions or add a few new ones. At dinner, ask each family member what their favorite tradition is to make sure you preserve these. This should lead to a discussion about why these activities are important … and who they want to include.
Now you can look at the activities and see which ones you want to share with others. If you're comfortable in the kitchen and love baking cookies, invite a few friends over to bake one afternoon. It's a lot like the traditional cookie swaps … where cookies are exchanged to provide more variety and try new cookies.
Alternatively you might pick a special holiday activity to enjoy one-on-one time with each of your children. That's a perfect way to slow down and enjoy this busy season as long as you don't overcommit. If one of your kids, or maybe a grandchild, has to bring cookies to school, think how proud they'll feel if they helped make them.
Need more ideas for activities where you can capture special holiday memories? Here are a few and there are hundreds of ideas on Pinterest. In a few minutes, you'll be sure to find something you and your kids will like.
- Make picking out a Christmas tree a family tradition, whether you buy one or cut it down yourself.
- Older children can help decorate the outside of your house. It's probably safer to provide the decorations or you could end up with twice as many lights as you like.
- Invite family members over for dinner and have them help you decorate the tree. This way you'll get to enjoy the tree for a few weeks before the big day.
- Have a ginger bread house party. You can bake or buy the houses ahead of time and invite your kids best friends and their families to bring candy to decorate.
Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season.