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Give the Gift of Memories

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Are you finished with your Christmas gifts or are you still struggling to find the perfect gift for some people on your Christmas list?  Every year, we dream, brainstorm and plan for the gifts that will bring a light to that special person’s eyes.  If you ask me today if I’m done with my Christmas list, I can happily tell you that I am 100% done with all my holiday shopping.  But I still have a couple gifts that I’m working on.  I’m working on a couple top secret projects to share the gift of memories with my family and friends.

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Give the Gift of Memories

Over the years, there have been some pretty special gifts shared during the holiday season.  I will never forget the Christmas I gave my brother an extra long hand crocheted afghan that I had worked on for months.  The year my Grandma gave me one of her treasured quilts or the time she gifted the kids their own special afghans are special memories.  I still treasure the special school jacket that my parents surprised me with when I was in high school.

But what can you give when you want to find the ultimate gift – the gift of memories? Here are some ideas that don’t cost money, but do require some time and thought.  How will you give the gift of memories this holiday season?

Memory Jar

One year my siblings and I all collected small memories and put them on strips of paper which we cut into pieces.  We stuffed a metal can with these memories and presented them to Mom and Dad for a special holiday gift.  Even now, they enjoy pulling out the strips of paper and enjoying the various memories that we all share from years past.

My friend Stacey has created some printable memory jar sheets of paper to help make your job easier!  What are you waiting for?  This is a fun way to give the gift of memories! 

Mix Tapes – the new versions

Do you remember when everyone was creating their own special Mix Tapes?  I can remember my best friend and I sitting by the radio  as we waited impatiently for our favorite song to come on so we could press record on the tape recorder and create our own personal tape with our favorite songs.  Now it’s even easier.  You can create a favorite playlist on Spotify for free or collect your favorite mp3 songs and share them with your friends or family.

If you are a musician, take this a step further.  Just hit record on your phone and play or sing your favorite songs.  Burn them to a CD and share the gift of music.

Convert Cassettes to Mp3

Did you know that you can convert cassette tapes to mp3 files using a simple tape recorder converter?  For less than $25, you can buy a little tape recorder that will connect to your computer and let you rescue those old cassette tapes and make them playable on an electronic device.  

Video Interviews

This is one of my favorite ways to give the gift of memories.  For several years, I have been interviewing and recording memories with my Grandma.  Now that she is no longer here with us, these videos have gone from very special status to priceless treasures.  Last week I discovered some ‘lost files’ that I had never shared with my family and friends.  So, today I am able to give this amazing gift of memories to all of you that love my Grandma, Hazel Hale!  

I simply use my phone to record the interviews, then piece them together with imovie and upload them to Youtube! 

Here is the full playlist with all the interviews I have shared with Grandma . over the past few years!  

I recently spoke with a friend who said she has been doing this with her Mom over the past few years.  Her kids (the grandkids) just sit down with their Grandmother and start asking questions about her life while the phone records it all.

Tips for great video interviews:

  • Think about a topic that you want to cover. (Holiday memories, favorite gifts, favorite pets, vacations, spiritual milestones)
  • Write down a few questions so you will be able to keep the conversation going
  • Choose a quiet environment and limit distractions
  • Don’t try to do a perfect interview.  The best clips are the ones that have hiccups, real life sneezes or even spontaneous laughter
  • Stop the phone periodically so you will have multiple short clips.  This makes it easier to text, email or share if you prefer.

How do you share the gift of memories?  Do you have any tips or special experiences?  I’d love to hear from you!

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