Wondering how to preserve this important occasion in your child’s life? How to keep the memories of all the guests attending the celebration? Record their baprism wishes!
On the occasion of her baptism, our daughter received two holy icons, Duplo bricks, some pretty clothes, cash and numerous greeting cards. We also took a lot of photos. All of them are beautiful yet somewhat… static. In order to avoid buying more toys for her, which would entertain her for less than a few months, we – her parents – decided to give her something more lasting, and recorded the baptism wishes of the guests present at the party.
How did we come up with the idea to record baptism wishes?
I am frequently asked whether I remember my great-grandmother. She used to play with me a lot, but she died when I was only five, and the only souvenirs that I have of her are photos. No matter how hard I try not to forget her, my memories are fading. Yet I can’t help but think that if I had her recorded, I would remember her better. That is what I want for my daughter.
How to record baptism wishes
I created this present in Windows Movie Maker – the simplest program that turns photos and recordings into short films. I had used it before on a number of occasions [see: video gifts], so it didn’t take me long to complete the task. Especially that I didn’t have to synchronise audio and video tracks – this time I left the original sound, which made things easy.
Recording baptism wishes in practice
The difficult part consisted in convincing guests to abandon the party for a little while and say their wishes to a camera. Overcoming stage fright was not easy. I invited couples together, positioned them in front of a plain wall in a separate room (so as to avoid distractions), switched my camera on and asked them to talk spontaneously. Some people read their wishes from greeting cards; others faltered in the beginning, but the point is that nobody refused.
The recordings lasted from one to several minutes. Two weeks later, I also managed to record the great-grandfather who couldn’t attend the party. I ordered the films according to the importance of the relatives (firstly parents and godparents, then grandparents and great-grandparents, and finally aunts and uncles). Then I cut each movie near the beginning, before people began to talk, and set this introductory part at slow motion – without sound – in order to insert captions with names. I hope my daughter will never need reminding who her relatives are, and the captions will be redundant, but I did them anyway.
And now I want to encourage you: even if there are currently no baptisms planned in your family, go and record your relatives while you still can and let me know about the effects!
- In order to carry out this project you don’t need a professional camcorder. An ordinary digital camera or a mobile phone that can record videos will suffice.
- Instead of cutting the recordings and playing them in slow motion you may use photos to insert captions. I chose to do it this way to achieve smoother transitions.
- This gift is also suitable for other occasions: the First Communion, first birthday party or any other big family reunion.