Let’s face it: Most of us are too time-starved to keep a journal. But by logging the people who visit your home throughout the year, you’ll have a lovely recollection of gatherings both planned and impromptu. Encourage guests to scribble one memory from the night, be it “mmm—s’mores” or “sorry about your couch!” We love the leather bound guest book shown above from Graphic Image ($95, graphicimage.com). If you want to go a less traditional route, take a cue from Charleston-based event planner Calder Clark and try one of these clever ideas.:
1) Start a Tradition. Ask visitors to write a short note to go in a vase. Read them annually, such as on Christmas.
2) Rock On. Have guests sign a wooden rocking chair. Over time it will become one part art-installation, one-part memory-filled perch.
3) Get Snappy. Use a Fuji Instax Mini Camera ($90, bestbuy.com) to take Polaroid-style photos of guests. Tuck into a memo board or mirror for a nostalgic pop.
4) Keep Posted. Scour flea markets and Etsy for pretty vintage postcards (from favorite Southern towns, perhaps?). Always stash a fresh stack along with an ink pen by the front door for guests to sign on their way out–a fun way to read “letters” from friends in the years to come.