Video cameras are getting smaller and less expensive. Here are some great ways to use video clips to preserve and share your memories.
If you’re blogging, it’s easy to embed a clip into your blog. If you’re using paper and pin, simply transfer the recording to a disc or USB-drive and attach the case to your notebook.
You’re not looking for an Oscar or fame. Just relax and be yourself. If you don’t want to spend time editing, remember less can be more. Try simple (short) recordings.
Read a favorite story or poem.
This not only preserves the story, but also preserves it in your voice, with your facial expressions. Your reading will not only include your emphases, but will also probably include the way that piece was traditionally read in your family.
In Spartanburg, SC, where I grew up, a department store displayed a beautiful diorama of Clement Clark Moore’s The Night before Christmas each year. In my youth, part of our Christmas Eve tradition was going downtown to the Aug W. Smith Company’s store windows and having my father read it to us.
Years later, the diorama was restored and put on display in the local history museum. My dad visited the museum and (with permission) videoed the diorama while he read it aloud. I’ll treasure this gift always.
Record your own poem
Hold you own poetry slam. Enough said.
Tell a story from your past
Just pretend your loved ones—even future loved ones—are sitting right in front of you and start your story telling. You can include visual aids (photos, tools of the trade, etc) if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary.
You don’t need a formal setting. In fact, stories told from your favorite chair provides a great welcoming backdrop.
Send a direct message to your loved ones
This is a “letter out loud.” What are the things that you want to make sure loved ones remember? What are the things that you don’t want to leave unsaid? Recording such messages can preserve the feelings of love between family members.
You can also record less momentous messages, especially for young grandchildren. If you’re packing up to go meet a new grandbaby for the first time, take a few minutes to record your activities, telling them how excited you are about their arrival. They probably won’t appreciate it for decades, but years later, it will be quite a treasure.
Record Family Occasions
Here’s where the “clip” part becomes more crucial. If you record 45 minutes of Johnny’s kindergarten graduation, people will seldom find time to watch it. If it’s a 2-minute clip featuring proud Johnny with his certificate and missing tooth in front of everyone who made the ceremony, it will be fun to look at in the future.
A Guided Tour through an Old Family Home
Going back to a family homestead? Moving out of the home in which you raised your children? Take a quick video tour of the house and rooms. (See Writing about Childhood Homes.)
By now, you have the idea and don’t need me to prompt you. Have fun!