Print Friendly

A wonderful way to look back at your year with your family.

One of my joys at the end of summer is the party we throw. There is no real guest list. The only people invited are the people who we’ve just spent eight long weeks trying to entertain. And we’re tossing them back to school so we’re going to do it in style.

Dress varies. I’ve come in heels and a boa. Some kids come in PJs. One wore a tie. We pick our favorite restaurant and put in our order. We even rent a movie or get set to stream one of our favorite shows (let’s be honest — Wipeout or Lab Rats aren’t winning any cinematic awards but the kids giggle so that’s fine).

Over the summer we compile a playlist. We’re a big Top 40 family and we travel a lot during the summer so we have plenty of time to overdose on One Direction and Taylor Swift. Each kid offers up his or her favorite song and along with my husband and me we have a summer playlist filled with the happy songs of summer. They definitely vary in tempo and (let’e be honest) quality but they are self-selected. Our yearly playlist is a staple at breakfast or dance parties through the year.

One or two of the songs became the soundtrack behind the family slideshow. Digital cameras may be a parent’s best friend. Constantly around, we are able to easily chronicle and selectively document our summer (kids smiling with ice cream cone? yes. kids fighting in the back seat of the car? no.). It took me all of 15 minutes to pull together 120 pictures from the summer. And then voila.

The kids watch their summer unfold. We get to contextualize the summer. They eat hamburgers. And summer is over.

I think there is value in doing this before Rosh HaShana. It’s a great time to review the year and maybe make some new family resolutions for the year to come. Looking back on the year together allows you to show your kids how much they have done, how much they have grown and the experiences you have shared. Talking about the year to come allows your family to feel like they are part of a team, working together and looking toward the future.

Start downloading your photos from your phone. Head to the camp website to download a few pictures from when your kids were at camp. Pick a song or two. A memory or two. And you are on your way.