Creativity

Do This One Thing For Immediate Closeness Over The Holidays

Delaney Ruston, MD
December 20, 2022
Photo album

Plain and simple, there is one thing I recommend doing during the holidays for love and laughter. Bring out old photo albums and put them in a high-trafficked spot in your home — be it the kitchen table or a table in a living room.  I predict we won’t have photo albums in the future, but we do right now.

Just as fun, bring out old boxes of photos. If you don’t have actual photos, digital ones will work too. 

I love how I spent considerable time trying to make cute albums, and yet the “reject” photos in boxes seem to be the big hits much of the time. (It reminds me of Instagram images vs. the more real ones of Snapchat, which many teens tell me they prefer over more curated images of friends).

The albums I so painstakingly put together over the years are much messier than I had hoped for. The plastic photo covering sheets are yellowing, photos are falling out of slots, and there are many empty slots where photos should be. Can you relate? 

Every year, our kids get older and start seeing old pictures of us in a new light. Last night, my college kids and I looked through a photo album from my college days. They had seen it some years ago but suddenly, the pictures resonated so much more.

As we drove to Vancouver, Canada, for a three-day vacation — where we will stop by the home of one of my college roommates —  I loved showing my family a super silly photo of her and me on our way to a  costume party. I was a car dashboard with a rearview mirror made of tinfoil, and she was wearing a Batwoman costume made from a plastic garbage bag. 

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Pull out any photos you have from when you or your kids were young. Cuddle on the couch while you laugh at past haircuts, review family lineage, and look at vintage tech, like telephones with cords. 

My daughter recently shared a podcast episode from Emma Chamberlain’s show, Anything Goes, entitled, Post It Or It Didn’t Happen?  Emma explores photo taking and posting and brings up the point that a big reason to take pictures is not to forget a moment. She is right, but it has always surprised me how little time people stop and look at past photos. We envision some future self that sits down to look through them, but I can tell you, I am hanging around many 80 and 90-year-olds, and I don’t see them reaching for their old albums.

Find the joy, pull them out today, and have some smiles, maybe some tears, and definitely some closeness.

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Games  to get the conversation started:

  1. Consider taking In the game of “Best of 3.” This is a game where each person takes a turn randomly opening a photo album or pulling photos from a box and answering three questions: Who is the person? Where was it taken? What year? 
  2. Consider choosing photos and then asking each person to guess something about each photo. 
  3. Ask each other questions about the photos you look at, and ask yourself questions as you see yourself in photos, such as “Why the heck was I ‘going with’ that guy?!”  (Remember that term?)
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Creativity

Do This One Thing For Immediate Closeness Over The Holidays

Delaney Ruston, MD
December 20, 2022
Photo album

Plain and simple, there is one thing I recommend doing during the holidays for love and laughter. Bring out old photo albums and put them in a high-trafficked spot in your home — be it the kitchen table or a table in a living room.  I predict we won’t have photo albums in the future, but we do right now.

Just as fun, bring out old boxes of photos. If you don’t have actual photos, digital ones will work too. 

I love how I spent considerable time trying to make cute albums, and yet the “reject” photos in boxes seem to be the big hits much of the time. (It reminds me of Instagram images vs. the more real ones of Snapchat, which many teens tell me they prefer over more curated images of friends).

The albums I so painstakingly put together over the years are much messier than I had hoped for. The plastic photo covering sheets are yellowing, photos are falling out of slots, and there are many empty slots where photos should be. Can you relate? 

Every year, our kids get older and start seeing old pictures of us in a new light. Last night, my college kids and I looked through a photo album from my college days. They had seen it some years ago but suddenly, the pictures resonated so much more.

As we drove to Vancouver, Canada, for a three-day vacation — where we will stop by the home of one of my college roommates —  I loved showing my family a super silly photo of her and me on our way to a  costume party. I was a car dashboard with a rearview mirror made of tinfoil, and she was wearing a Batwoman costume made from a plastic garbage bag. 

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