Preserving Memories Through Scrapbook Journaling

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Preserving Memories Through Scrapbook Journaling

by Inez Haythorn


Many of us keep picture albums, scrapbooks, and maybe even journals or diaries. Why not combine them? Scrapbook journaling is a way to record the important times of your life by using photos, keepsakes, and written accounts all together in one album. This makes a more complete chronicle of the activities and events of your loved ones. Ideally, there could be one created for each year, highlighting the most important experiences of each family member's life. This would become a treasured keepsake.


When recording an event in your journal, make sure this information is always included:
1. Who was involved?
2. Date
3. Name of the event - Christmas dinner, little league game, family reunion.
4. Where did it take place?
5. Events that took place - the story or account of the experience.
6. Special memories or happenings of the day

Try to record the occasion as soon as possible. It is surprising how quickly you can forget the details!


Here is just a starter list of keepsakes that could be included in your scrapbook. You will come up with many more.

1. Newspaper clippings
2. Programs, announcements
3. School papers
4. Report cards
5. Invitations
6. Letters or greeting cards
7. Menus
8. Family recipes


There are many different types of photographs you might want to use, depending on the occasion. If it is a family affair, there would be a group photograph. Before our Christmas Eve dinners, we always get a picture of everyone around the table before we start eating. This is precious to me now, since my grandparents and father have all died.

You might want to include pictures of your daughter and her date in their prom attire, your son's little league team and individual picture, or your children in their pajamas on Christmas morning. How about grandparents or great-grandparents with your children? One of my most treasured pictures is a black and white portrait of my newborn son and my ninety-year old grandmother holding him while he slept. It is priceless to me! The black and white made it look even more vintage style.


The possibilities of events to capture are endless. You will enjoy coming up with ideas. Here are a few to start with:

1. New school year

Take a picture of your kids before they leave with their new clothes and backpacks. Make sure you write the grade and date in your journal. Who was their teacher? Who were their best friends at the time? How did they feel about going to school?
Keep samples of their papers from school the first day.

2. Christmas

Take individual and group photos of family members and friends in attendance. Write out the dinner menu. Have each person who prepared food write out their recipe in their own handwriting and sign their name. These could be copied and compiled for your album. What special traditions do you have? How did your children react? Write about the day in story form.

3. Little League

Include individual and team pictures in their uniforms. Who were their coaches? What were the names of their teammates? What position did they play? Were there any special moments or great plays? Any newspaper clippings?

4. Prom

Have prom photos from home and from the dance. The school usually hires a photographer to take professional pictures. Who was your son or daughter's date? Where was it held? What was the theme? What was the favorite song of the evening?

Your imagination can go on and on with ideas to celebrate and record.


As much as possible, make copies of everything. Get duplicate photos, copy your written account of the event, photocopy programs or other keepsakes if you can. In this way, you can have a scrapbook journal for different family members who would be interested in having it. Many scrapbook suppliers even have theme-based backgrounds and clip art for these different occasions. These would also make a wonderful gift for Christmas or birthdays.

The objective is to capture the year in the lives of your family members by combining photographs, keepsakes, and written memoirs. By recording events, holidays, and special occasions in this way, you will have a precious gift for all of your family members. You will be preserving memories, and it will become more valuable with each passing year.

Inez Haythorn is a Christian wife, mother, elementary school teacher, pianist, and freelance writer. Her main writing interests are Christian writing, and writing about lifestyles and memoirs of the past. She is the publisher of Christian Family Treasures, Heirloom Memories, and Cherished Collections. Her goal is to glorify and honor God, and bless and help others. Copyright 2003. All rights reserved.

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