A Year in the Life: Making Video Memories

Christmas is now just right around the corner. Three of our 4 kids are home and Number 1 returns on Saturday. As I said in my previous blog, I am so looking forward to having all of us under one roof for over a week! This hasn’t happened since last Christmas because of Number 2’s travel schedule. When we are all home, we make sure we take time to get some new family photos taken. First because we love photos and second because we wont have this opportunity until next Christmas.

As I have stated previously, pictures have always been part of our family and part of a family tradition. Every year those thousands of photos would be turned into family videos for all of the kids, for Kori and the family. That’s right, I would make atleast 6 different videos each year with pictures specific to each kid or for the larger family. Usually I would have to cut off pictures I would use for the video around Thanksgiving and would spend countless hours almost every evening from Thanksgiving up until Christmas Eve to finish all the videos.

Each video had to have unique songs specially picked for that individual. No pictures were duplicated (well, I did make mistakes once in awhile). Transitions were carefully added. Songs had to cut off at the right time. The titles had to coordinate with the music. This was a yearly labor of love. Over the years, I perfected my videography skills and was able to improve the end product each year.

As the kids got older, and picture-taking opportunities became less, the number of photos decreased. All that meant was a shorter video but still the same meticulous work went into each video. The tradition was that on Christmas, after all the presents had been opened and breakfast had been served, we would all sit down to watch the family video. This video was for the whole family, all 14 of us. I tried to make sure that the video represented all the family. Maybe not everyone had the equal number of photos, but most times it was pretty close. This was my gift to the family. Each song was chosen with care. The pictures told the story and brought all of us back to relive fun memories from the year gone by.

When I first started making these videos, it would really get me down when my kids weren’t into watching the videos. But when I saw the reaction from Kori and the other adults, I knew I was on to something. These videos were special. The kids didn’t know it then but they would come to love them when they get older. When Number 1 was away at college, she told me she watched her videos when she missed her family. That’s what it’s all about.

With only Number 4 left at home, the pictures have definitely decreased and the video has now changed. No longer am I doing videos for every member of the family. Now I am just doing one video for everyone. Things have changed and that is how it goes. I am not mad about it. I am truly happy about the videos I have made over the years. What a gift I can give to all my kids! It is a yearly video history for them to have for the rest of their lives. It is hopefully a tradition that will live on with them. Who knows, maybe I will be back at it making videos for the next generation, but I am not pushing for that right now. I am satisfied with making one video with memories that will last a life time.

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