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Thanks For The Memories

If you are looking for a unique gift that will have a very special meaning for the recipient, and that is likely to be often revisited, it’s time to turn your storytelling skills toward the creation of a Memory Book.

A Memory Book is…quite literally…a collection of memories.  It is unlike a diary in that it is meant to be shared with others, and there is usually an “entertainment” component connected with it.  The memories can certainly be random, but they are often linked by themes.

There are so many formats you can use.  Let me share two with you.  These are Memory Books that were created by my daughter for me, and by me for my daughter.

My daughter used a scrapbook approach.  She entitled her Memory Book, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE.  Knowing my fondness for movies, she set it up as though it was a collector’s book of a filmed biography.  (Considering it was my life, it was nice to see the words “Based on a true story” included!)

It opens with the cast list and the crew list, and is followed by the critical reviews.  Next, we have the introduction, not unlike the opening story pages of the famous Capra film.

What follows are absolutely delightful hand-drawn pictures that illustrate Conventions we’ve attended, our awesome trip to Japan, our Broadway excursion, some birthday celebrations, our Disney adventures, and a Christmas wrap-up.  In the back are the “deleted scenes” and an electronic copy on a disk.

This amazing creation is on display in our living room where guests are free to look through it.  I return to it at least monthly, and more often when I need a pick-me-up.  It is a cherished treasure.

My Memory Book for her was a project that I’ve had in mind for a long time.  I had often thought it would be good to share the moments in my daughter’s life that have had an especially vivid meaning for me.  Many of these seemed minor at the time, and yet they are now recalled with strong emotional intensity.

It consists of a more conventional, 20-page typed document that reviews the highlights of her past 15-years, and what those memories meant to me.  It was a wonderful trip down memory lane, and I found myself often writing while I smiled…or, on two occasions, laughing out loud.

The key point here is that I have been planning to do this for years, yet I never seemed to make the time to do it.  “One day” became the mantra.  Also, didn’t she know these stories already?  …Well, yes she did, although she did not have my perspective.

The work was called, “The Princess & The Daddy” in honor of a recent Disney animated film.  I concentrated on themes in her life that had special meaning for me, such as the day she was born, singing to her as a baby, the scariest moment, the “shoulder rides” I gave her around our Court, her amazing achievements that caused me to swell with pride, the bedtime stories, and my imagined glimpse into her future.

All of this was put together in a Disney-themed scrapbook.  It had a different value from the latest upgrade of the iPad; an appreciation that extends beyond an owned thing.

I’ve said over and over again in these postings that we are hardwired to appreciate stories…and we are.  We can’t appreciate them, of course, if they are not told.

You have some wonderful stories in you that would bloom into something truly amazing if put into a tangible format.  If they are about another person, you’ll likely present something that will be treasured as much as a fondly remembered story from the golden glow of childhood.

Don’t put it off any longer.  Make someone’s day.

Thank you for reading.