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Gift Memories, Not Stuff

In my house, I feel like I am constantly battling the stuff.


Picture me, armed with a broom and dustpan, wielding my 360 duster and a trash bag. I cautiously enter the girl’s bedroom, careful to check behind the door for stray goblins or dragons. I approach the girl with care—she is prone to sneak attacks and screams that will pierce even the most tested momma eardrums. I make my way around the room, tossing worn pajamas and skirts over my shoulder, expertly passing the duster over the surfaces that are accessible. Quietly and with the stealth of a mouse about to snatch a square of cheese, I push a pile of scribbled-up paper into the open trash bag. I pause, waiting for the attack…all is quiet on the western front. I continue, tidy, toss, dust, sweep, before exiting as quickly as I came.


There is so much stuff in the girl’s room that her bed only has enough space for her body to fit amongst the mounds of stuffed animals.


The floor only has a path big enough to walk and perhaps pass a vacuum cleaner through. Mounds of half-used paper are stacked on the desk and dresser. Even more stuffies are organized by size and style on her bookshelf. Books overflow onto a small pile on the floor—the shelves too full to support even one more item.


This is the curse of stuff. Each item was lovingly purchased for a well-loved and adored child. Each item is then loved and worshiped by said child. And each item is one more thing a ragged momma has to organize, clean, and move each time the room needs to be cleaned.


There is simply already too much stuff to accommodate even one more birthday or holiday. With Christmas right around the corner, I dread the mounds of more stuff that will be happily carried through my doors. Where will it all go? How can I possibly squeeze one more inch of storage out of the bedrooms. Is it possible to install storage drawers on the ceiling?


All of this to say, that the thing I crave more than anything else this holiday season is a way to celebrate, enjoy, and cherish the memories we have made as a family—outside of all the stuff. We don’t travel far, but each small road trip holds a special place in our hearts. We take pictures of silly times singing in the car, hiking through beautiful fall foliage, dipping our toes into a crisp creek, and even rolling down grassy hills just for kicks.


And where do these beautiful memories end up? On Facebook or trapped in my phone. What I hope for myself and for all of you is to take these incredible memories and do something special with them so that you can enjoy them daily!


What about turning those best photos into wall art? Or creating a photo book for your children that they can keep for years to come? Better yet, save those memories and enjoy a fun activity by turning a photo into a puzzle.


All these options are available to anyone who signs up with FOREVER.com. By creating your free log-in, you can upload up to 2GB of photos for free. While this amount may not back up your entire phone collection of images, it is a place to start and will allow you to use those photos to then create beautiful artwork, photo books, and more using either FOREVER.com or the FOREVER app.


By using my referral link below, I will also be able to help you down the road when you may decide to start larger projects. Perhaps you have tubs full of photo albums from your family that you want to start uploading to the FOREVER cloud—a safe, always secure, way to digitize your photos, videos, and memories that will exist for your lifetime plus 100 years (at a minimum). I can help you digitize your images and organize them so then you can share online photo albums with your friends and family. Each person who you give access to the album will then be able to download the images and make their own cherished family memories. What could be a better gift this holiday season?


Surely, your family will enjoy pictures of their loved ones and those memories more than yet another stuffed animal. I know I would!


Here are a few of my favorite photo-based holiday gifts:

  1. Holiday Photo Book: Share holidays over the years by organizing your photos based on holiday. Each photo you upload has a data panel where you can include keywords such as Christmas and a date such as 1986. So, when you go to create a photo album of holidays past, you can simply search using keyword Christmas and can then organize all the photos based on date. This creates a beautiful and chronological gift that can be enjoyed each holiday season!

  2. Holiday Ornaments: One of my favorite gifts has been an ornament with pictures of my children. It can become a holiday tradition! Each year, select current photos of your child(ren) or grandchildren, go into the FOREVER.com holiday offerings (order by the end of November for the best deals), and personalize an ornament. They are offered in many shapes, sizes, and colors. As a new member, you can upload up to 2 GB of photos for free, then use those photos to create ornaments for yourself and for family and friends.

  3. Puzzles: This is a memorable gift and fun activity in one! You can select one or multiple photos to personalize the puzzle, then our FOREVER elves turn the photo into a jigsaw puzzle that can be enjoyed for years to come.

  4. Wall Art: I love decorating with my favorite family photos. I have taken photos from my husband’s childhood and my childhood to create wall art or tabletop easels so that our kids can see a glimpse into our past. I have created canvas art with perfect fall images of my kids playing in piles of leaves, or grinning as they enjoy swinging in a favorite park. The canvas wall art is not only beautiful, but it also makes for a great statement piece in your family room. A wide variety of sizes are available at FOREVER.com.

  5. Blankets! Plaster your memories on a warm blanket that you can snuggle up with all season long. When my father died, a friend of ours created a photo blanket with photos of our family over the years with Dad. It was an incredible gift that I will always treasure. I have also seen beautifully designed holiday blankets with a few photos, some with images of Christmas trees and others highlighting the family’s name and year. There are endless possibilities!

To get started, go to FOREVER.com/ambassador/Rachel-Mavity to create your free log-in. By using my referral link you get 2GB of free storage that you can use immediately. You will also get a $20 off coupon, which you will be able to start spending and utilizing all the great deals going on now through the end of the month.


Make those memories, preserve those memories, and enjoy them for years to come!

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