Crafts: Making a family memory journal

A family memory journal is a fun, easy way to preserve family memories.
By Rachel Paxton
January 2009
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A couple of years ago, I was sorting through a pile of unused journals (many given to me as presents) and was trying to come up with a way to put them to good use.

One day, after a family gathering, I sat down and wrote a short description of the gathering in one of the unused journals. I wrote where the gathering took place, the occasion we were celebrating, the names of the people who had attended, and things about the day that had stood out in my memory. I did this for the next couple of family get-togethers, then stuck the journal in a drawer.

It didn't seem like that big of a deal at the time, but probably a year or more later, I pulled out the journal again and looked at the entries I had made. It was really fun reading them again. I had already forgotten some of the things that had happened, and the thoughts that I had at the time that, fortunately, I had thought to write down.

I've been really forgetful about writing in my family memory journal, but in the past couple of years, I have probably chronicled two or three family events a year. When you think about it, 25 years from now, the journal will be full of family memories.

Family journals are a great thing to pass down to your children and grandchildren.

At the time, they don't really care about what's going on, but some day they will appreciate being reminded of some of their childhood memories.

In the past year or so, I've really gotten into scrapbooking, and I think my memory journal will be a great resource for my scrapbooking projects. Sometimes it takes months to get your photos ready and pages laid out. By that time, you could forget the memories you had to go along with them. If you have a family memory journal, you can use it to add journaling to your scrapbook pages, with your memory as clear as if you had taken the pictures yesterday.

Don't let time pass you by and let those special family moments get away from you. Sometimes an event as routine as another family birthday party might make a great memory later in life, especially when older relatives start passing away, because it's special remembering the times they were involved in family get-togethers. Someday, when you're that older person, your youngest family members will enjoy reading about their great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents.

About the author: Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit

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