Honor them with historical scrapbooks
There are so many different and creative ways for families to showcase their heritage and honor a grandparent or other special senior. Scrapbooks are one such way to share the life of a special person and indirectly tell the tale of your family history.
Very often personal history projects are a part of elementary school curricula, so you may already have the makings of a family tree or a family diary in your home. All it takes is a little more research and some planning to design a scrapbook that can be gifted or kept for generations to enjoy.
Begin by making an outline of what you would like to cover in the scrapbook. Perhaps there is a specific event in a grandparent's life that is worth highlighting, like a military tour of duty or a brief stint in show business. Maybe you would like to present different snapshots in time during his or her life. Either way, planning out the content of the scrapbook will make it easier to gather the necessary elements.
Once you've settled on a theme, begin your research by interviewing the eventual recipient (he or she doesn't have to know the reason behind the inquiry).
During the interview, take note of key dates and try to establish the mood of the era with supporting materials. For example, you may be able to find samples of advertisements from a correlating period in history or newspaper clippings that can be used to fluff up the content of the book.
In the meantime, gather photos that can be used in the scrapbook, which may take some hunting. Prints can be scanned and copied via a desktop scanner at home, or loaded onto a CD or thumb drive and brought to a pharmacy photo kiosk. Some specialty shops can even scan slides or convert stills from film into images. Make sure to make copies of all original prints and be careful not to lose or damage the originals.
Scrapbooks can be made manually with materials purchased anywhere from craft and hobby stores to stationery shops. There are a variety of paper-cutting tools, adhesives, stickers, labels, and stencils that can be used to enhance the look of the scrapbook. There also are computer software programs or online tools through photo-sharing sites that enable you to upload images and text and design photo books entirely online. Then the finished product can be printed out in a variety of finishes. This method may actually be preferable for those who plan to save the scrapbook or anticipate it being such a big hit that others will want their own copies.
Create a digital file of all of your information and copies of images. This way if you ever want to add to the scrapbook or reproduce information in the future you will have all of the information at your fingertips. The scrapbook also will serve as a good source material down the line should future generations want to learn about their ancestors.
Scrapbooking is more than just detailing baby's first birthday or a vacation. This popular pastime can help document the life of a special senior.