Capturing Memories on New Year’s Day

2003 January

Today, I’m sharing my favorite family tradition!

For a decade now, I’ve made it a habit to take a picture of my children on New Year’s Day. I then ask them a few questions about their favorite foods, colors, games, what they want to be when they grow up, what they think their sibling will be, what they would buy with a hundred or million dollars… all those sorts of things.

2004 January 1st

After they answer the questions, we look back at what they said last year, and then the years before. There’s a lot of smiles and laughter as we read things like my son wanting to be everything from a monster to Spider Man to just like Daddy when he grows up or thinking his sister will make being a ballerina and garbage lady as a career.

I record the answers in a special notebook, one per child, and when they get too old for this sort of thing (*cry*) I plan to compile us each a scrapbook containing all of the information and photos. I’m so glad I started way back when they were so little – I now have so many precious memories that I know I’ll treasure for as long as I live.


I hope everyone has a happy and safe New Year’s Eve and Day, surrounded by the ones you love!

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Jan Berry is a writer, herbalist, soapmaker, and bestselling author of The Big Book of Homemade Products, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, and Easy Homemade Melt & Pour Soaps. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her family and a menagerie of animals, where she enjoys brainstorming creative things to make with the flowers and weeds that grow around her.

  • Farmer Doug says:

    It’s good to have you back, Jan. We have missed your heartfelt words and “wise beyond your years” perspective. What a great tradition! Wish we had thought of doing this when our kids were growing up. All the best in 2013 to you & yours.

  • Steff says:

    I LOVE this tradition!

    • Jan says:

      Me too – so much! I got the idea while looking back at the “School Days” book my mom kept for me. There were 5 of us, plus more sometimes, so she didn’t get to do much with it – but I really love looking back at what did get recorded. I think my kids will too! :)

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