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The holidays are always a time to think about family. When I was growing up, the holidays meant travel because we would go to family or family would come to us. And often, after dinner was eaten, dishes washed and presents opened, the downtime would slowly fill with family stories – and sometimes even family photos.

I’m thinking about family connections a lot for another reason too.

I’ve launched myself on a completely overwhelming project: to organize the boxes and albums of family photos in my guardianship as well as my own rolls and rolls of prints – then to scan, tag and upload them so that captions can be added and corrected and prints can be made for anyone who has been looking for a copy of that exact photo since forever.

Flipping through the stacks, I’m flooded with memories, realizing that it hasn’t been just me growing and changing each year but my entire family. The family portraits from the early 1900′s are followed by graduation portraits, wedding photos – and then first Christmases.

Even as I wade deeper and deeper through the boxes, wondering how I convinced myself this was a good idea, I’m grateful for the obsessive labeling habit I got into after helping with tornado clean up in high school and aunts, uncles and cousins who I hope will step in to help me correct and caption many of these images once I get them scanned and posted!

The thing is, this project isn’t just for me, or even for us. There’s a whole new generation of nieces and nephews having their first, second and third Christmases now. Their photo albums may be online instead of on the shelf. But the people, and the meaning, will be the same.

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