There’s a reason there are so many holiday movies — the holidays are full of events and emotions, two things that are key for good visual storytelling. This year, get ready for your own holiday video ahead of time by planning out some video-worthy moments to record during this year’s winter festivities. If you’re not sure when to take out your camera or smartphone to preserve the moment, take a look at my list of 12 favorites that I always try to capture on video rather than in still photographs.
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- Having winter fun. If you’ve already got snow (or are visiting someplace that does), a few seconds of ice skating, snowman building, or other playful winter activities offer a sweet way to open any holiday video.
- Making a wish list. Though it has other meanings, many children view the holidays as a prelude to presents. So when they’re making a list (and checking it twice), take out your camera and record a few seconds of them writing down what they want for the holidays.
- Cuddling at storytime. The holidays are a time of stories, so why not capture your little one reading The Polar Express for the first time, or hearing the story of the Maccabees, or even cuddling up to a favorite fairy tale. TIP: I always try to make sure to include grandparents in my holiday videos, and this is one moment they almost always agree to let me film.
- Visiting Santa. During the Christmas rush, there’s always time to visit the big guy from the North Pole and deliver that holiday wish list. But don’t forget to record some video when you do!
- Volunteering. The holidays are a season of giving, and if you or your family are giving your time to a good cause, take out your camera to capture some of your service.
- Selecting the tree. If you’re going out to get a live tree this year, clips from the expedition can add a bit of storytelling flair when you create a video, letting you show the whole tree-decorating process from start to finish.
- Holiday decorating. When you’re ready to haul out the holly, haul out the camera, too. Capture baby in awe of tree lights or bigger kids creating holiday crafts to add a festive air to your video.
- Participating in a holiday concert or pageant. With the holidays come holiday concerts; adding in a few bars of Jingle Bells or a scene from a seasonal play helps share these moments with far away family.
- Making holiday goodies. Capture the togetherness that comes from cooking and baking by turning your camera’s lens towards the kitchen.
- Opening Gifts. Before the wrapping paper starts to fly, quick — hit record! You’ll not only get the rip of the gift wrap, but you’ll catch those first reactions to each present. TIP: If possible, have family members open gifts one at a time, at least for major gifts, so you don’t lose Suzie’s reaction to her big present while you’re filming Tommy opening his.
- Enjoying new gifts. Once the children have finished unwrapping their gifts, keep the camera on, and catch them playing with their new toys.
- Celebrating family tradition. Your family’s history plays a big role in celebrating the holidays. Whatever your family’s background, there’s bound to be a shared tradition worth remembering with video.