Holiday Tradition: Old Family Polaroids

by Erica Layne on November 15, 2013

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Yesterday I touched on how losing my grandmother a couple of years ago has made me think hard about how I can pass on her legacy to my children. I will remember her forever, but I want my children to know of her too.

The thing is, I’m not great at weaving story into our daily lives. Our days are too full of diaper changes and homework packets and let’s-get-out-of-here-before-we’re-late. But what better time than the holidays to slow down enough to share stories with my children.

So I edited some old family photos and ordered some dollar-a-piece prints through Polariod Fotobar.

As soon as they arrived in the mail, I snuggled up with my boys and started talking about each photo—sketching out the lives of people they recognize simply as “the grandpa who tells stories” and “great-grandma who’s in heaven.”

Now every year I plan to pull them out as part of our holiday decorations. I’ll pull my children in and show them their heritage. Then I’ll tuck the photos in places around the house: the linen bulletin board in the living room, the advent calendar in the dining room—the Thanksgiving table, for that matter.

Until these faces have become almost as familiar to my children as they are to me.

While you’re here, feel free to check out my list of instagram printing options, my instagram wall hanging, my linen inspiration board, and even the picture ledges in our living room. (Maaaybe I’m a bit obsessed with displaying photos…)

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Ashley November 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Cute tradition! We just started doing “family history fast Sunday” with our oldest, who has a tough time keeping her mind off of eating. And I’m planning on introducing some family history question interviewing as part of homeschool when we move. Our roots are important! :)
Love the pictures!

Erica - Let Why Lead November 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Ashley, you are so amazing. I don’t know how you stay on top of all of your traditions! I would totally start spacing them. :) But you continually inspire me to add more into our home. I really think they are so important.

The one of yours that I’m working on adding right now is listening to a conference talk together on Sundays. Thank you for the idea! Much love!

Lisa November 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Ooh, such a good idea! Love it!

Gina @ Holding the Distaff November 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm

What a cute idea! Im thinking this would be a very cool Christmas gift too
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Autumn November 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I love how you incorporated these family photos into something creative so your family could become familiar with them!!

I think I want to to do fridge magnets with some of ours.
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Erica - Let Why Lead November 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Hi Autumn! I’m sorry I’m late responding, but I wanted to say that I did some fridge magnets once, as well! (Seriously, when it comes to photo displays, I cannot help myself!) They turned out really cute. I think I used ImageSnap. Good luck with those! I’m off to check out your blog right now!

Katie November 17, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Oh my goodness, this is such a good idea! I got teary just reading about it and thinking about my Grandpa and how much I wish my kids could remember him and have gotten to know him like I did. Ever since he passed away last year I’ve felt like they were missing out on memories with him. I think I am going to steal this idea! Thanks for sharing!

Erica - Let Why Lead November 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Hi Katie! I’m a little slow responding, but I wanted to say that that is exactly how I’ve felt about my grandma. It’s almost a physical pain, knowing that my children won’t get to know her. But I take so much comfort in trying to share her story with them, though pictures and little anecdotes here and there.

Please do steal the idea! That’s what it’s here for! :) Happy early Thanksgiving, dear! Can you believe the holidays are upon us? (To me it still feels like we just had our baby girls!!)

Emily Smith // The Best of this Life November 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm

That’s a beautiful new tradition and wonderful way of sharing their memory and stories! I’m a little picture obsessed too ;)
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