I used to collect shot glasses and/or ceramic tiles when I could from the places I visit, and my collection has grown quite a bit. I would spend quite some time looking for that unique and perfect shot glass to add to my existing collection. Below are a few examples from the collection.
I struggled with deciding what souvenirs to bring back for family and friends. Because we travel so much, searching for souvenirs became time-consuming, overwhelming, costly and often put more weight in our luggage.
Sending postcards to ourselves, family and friends is an inexpensive, but thoughtful souvenir. Unlike email, it is a hand written note with thought and attention placed in that card. We still purchase small souvenirs, but mostly for immediate family members. Sending postcards is a way for us to preserve precious memories of our family trips and to let Emma know how much fun we had together. Rarely are we on a trip without our daughter. When we do go on a trip without her, we still send a postcard to let her know we are thinking about her.
Now that she is older she writes and sends post cards to Mommy and Daddy (with messages like *I love myself*). She also sends cards to her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and her close friends. Upon returning home I collect the postcards from various locations we visited and I turn them into wall decorations. Our home is usually surrounded by memories of our travels. Regularly, I would revisit the pictures and the postcards with Emma and start a conversation with her. This is another great way to educate our child about geography and consistently integrate travel into our lives.
We also take pictures of ourselves sending postcards. Actually, this is a fun activity for all of us. Now, Emma reminds Mommy and Daddy to take pictures of her mailing the postcards. Combined with the pictures and the postcards, we have an ever lasting memory treasure/souvenir box, or shall I say “Souvenir Wall!”
We have not had any, not once, professional studio pictures taken as a family. We feel that it makes more sense for us to utilize our own travel pictures and have done so even before Emma was born.
Another thing I did one year was a photo-slide show video highlighting our travels of that year. From time to time, we would view the video together as a family. It is a great way to spend quality time together, and yes, there is a learning opportunity for her even during a homemade video. Sometimes, when I am feeling blue or miss traveling, I watch the video to reminisce the wonderful times we had together.
These are all wonderful, inexpensive, memorable and meaningful souvenirs and they do last a lifetime. What I love the most about the souvenirs is that they come from a place of love and passion. As a parent, I can only teach and guide our daughter with examples and role-modeling hoping that one day she will keep the family traditions we established to carry on in her own adult life.
Here’s one of my favorite souvenirs and my favorite Disney buddy!