When my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary, we wanted to do something special for them using the family photographs. My sister and I spent weeks pouring over old photographs. On a trip to see my parents, I was even able to nab a few photos mom had without her knowing it.
Then we sat down over a weekend and put everything in chronological order, starting with how they met, had children, my child’s growing up years, and working our way up to the present day. The hard part was deciding which pictures to keep and which ones didn’t belong in the retrospective. The entire weekend we spent laughing and crying, going over those pictures and relating stories of our growing up to our husbands. The weekend alone was more fun than we’d had in years.
But the surprise was just beginning. My brother-in-law, who happens to be an audio-visual expert, digitized all the photographs and then using his fancy AV equipment, put them all on video tape. Next we picked out songs that went along with their life — a song to represent each stage — so we put the 5 or 6 songs on the tape and he pulled it all together into one finished project.
We packaged the video up, put it in a basket with goodies to eat, champagne, and glasses, and gave them the package for their anniversary. Watching their faces when they looked at the tape was the most incredible thing. Mom still cries every time she watches it. We also made copies for each of us, because it is a wonderful chronicle of our family history. We’re going to be able to keep it for our own grandchildren some day.
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