Here in the US, the beginning of November marks the start of the “holiday season”. We celebrate Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday, and then we all know what happens in December—Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and all the wonderful traditions that accompany them. Though the holiday season is one of my favourite times of the year, it can sometimes be hectic (shopping, parties, family get-togethers, baking, etc) and I forget to take photos and record memories. But if I plan ahead just a bit, I do much better at remembering to preserve our beloved family traditions.

Below are a few ideas for recording special holiday traditions and events. Hopefully with a little planning ahead, this holiday season will go down as well-documented in our family histories.

Photograph Your Holiday Décor

This layout is about my favourite piece of Christmas decor. My mom has been giving me one piece of this Lennox nativity set each Christmas since I got married. It is so special to me that I just had to create a page about it. Do you have a favourite tree ornament, an heirloom menorah, or handmade wreath? As you put up your holiday decorations this year be sure to photograph and tell the story about one that is special to you.

Scan Letters to Santa


Every time I see these drawings my daughter made of exactly what she wanted Santa’s elves to make her for Christmas, I can’t help but smile! Do your kids (grandkids, nieces, nephews) write letters to Santa? Do they create lovely works of holiday art at school or day care? Not sure what to do with these when the holiday season is over? Try scanning them and saving them on your computer. When you’re ready to scrapbook your holiday photos, you can print them at home, or at your local photo printer, and include them on your layout.

Scrapbook Your Card

Every Christmas our family sends out a card with a photo (or photo collage) and a brief synopsis of what happened during the year. They’re like small time capsules capturing the year in review. Sometimes I actually create a scrapbook page with one on it, and sometimes I just throw a copy in a page protector, but I always include a copy in our family scrapbook for the year. Consider including a copy of your holiday card/letter in your scrapbook.

Photograph Favourite Holiday Dishes


Just like most families, my family has certain dishes they expect at our holiday meals every year. Once in a while we try new recipes, but we always have our old favorites. I decided to photograph them one year and tell the origin of/story behind each one. Try photographing your favourite dishes, or if you’re too busy in the kitchen, hand your camera over to some else.

Take Photos After The Rush

Asking kids to stop opening presents and pose for a photo shoot can be like trying to stop a flash flood. I took these photos of my son on Christmas morning after we had finished opening presents. He was happy to oblige and even lined up his favourites for me. Consider taking photos after the present-opening rush is over. That way your kids can show off their favourites, and you can enjoy the moment instead of hiding behind the camera.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to plan ahead and capture some wonderful family memories this holiday season.

Article by: Aly Dosdall