Watching the smiles and listening for the giggles from my grandchildren as we sit together on the couch looking through the family albums is worth all the time and effort that was put into making them. They love noticing how much they look like their mom or dad when they were little. Making that connection of their likes and dislikes helps build their relationships stronger.
My mom also spent many years putting albums together. When my sister and I would send her our doubles, she would put them in as well. She was proud to be a grandma and was eager to show off her grandchildren to her friends, whenever possible.
Not only did my mom have over 30 family albums, but she also preserved several of their trips in albums. My parents traveled to many far away places including Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand, England, Hawaii, and Alaska. Then after my parents had passed away, it was my job to sort through them and divide the photos among my two brothers, my sister and myself. You can only have so many photos of ice bergs and penguins, so I didn’t save all of their pictures, just enough of some for each of us kids to know what it would have been like, had we had been there.
As I started taking the family albums apart, I recognized many of the doubles I had mailed them, and thought, well, at least I have an extra one to give to my children. It took me a whole month to take the photos out of the albums and then sort them into boxes. I was even able to send some to other relatives and friends. Plus, several of the pictures were put in containers for future family reunions. It would have been too much trouble to quadruple each one – since there were four of us kids. Now, we can fight over who gets to house them between reunions.
As a Creative Memories Consultant for six years, I had put together over 100 albums. Some were designated only as professional albums – leadership conventions and incentive trips earned, but the majority of them were family albums. Each of my three kids had their own album with childhood pictures in them plus and ABC album, full of positive adjectives to describe them (this was a high school graduation gift). Then I had many albums with just family pictures in them.
In 2009, part of our house burned down, and the office which contained all of our pictures and albums had extensive smoke damage. Though most of the pictures were salvageable, some were melted together or covered in smoke residue, they had to be thrown out.
The album covers were also damaged, but inside, it was clear that the page protectors did their job, keeping the smoke residue off of the photos. So before long, I had rubbermaid bins full of pages without the album covers. They remained in there until 2015, when I finally took the time to rescue them. Though, I still have a bin of lose photos that need to be sorted. Atleast I have the photos to give to the kids.
All in all, putting pictures into albums is the best way for the majority of your family to sit on the couch and enjoy them. Not everyone can gather around your laptop, or look at the photo library on your phone. Though keeping the pictures in a cloud is probably the safest place for them, as long as you never want to look at them again.
If you’re interested in scrap booking, or just preserving your photos, please leave me a comment and I’ll get in touch with you. Here’s a link to my Creative Memories website, too.