Sometimes no matter how you try, each family member just cannot make it for a family reunion. Luckily, keeping-in-touch alternatives exist to unite families, even if it's not for the annual family camp-out. Here are some generation-linking ideas to help you host a family mail-union that will help you and yours stay close though miles may separate you.
Use email, fax machines, personal websites, or the post office to carry through on any of these ideas. Designate a system that helps family members know to whom they should send responses. For example, use birth order or age. The oldest family member gets it first and then passes it on to the next-born, etc. until every family has had a chance to respond. Or, assign each family member an activity to be in charge of. Return responses to the activity chair, who will then tally and post or send the compiled responses to each participant.
1. Research some interesting facts and history of your family. Make up a quiz with what you found. Send the quiz out to family members. Either have them return it to you for scoring or mail or post the answers a week later.
2. Have each family write up questions they've often wondered about their family history. Send the questions to the "family historian." That person will compile the questions, write in the answers, and return the family history information to each family.
3. Make a family cookbook. Ask everyone to send their favorite recipes to a designated person, who will compile them for each family.
4. Participate in an essay contest: What was your family's most memorable experience this past year? Compile the essays, give out awards as desired, and send them out to each family. Make up a new theme every year.
5. Scan baby pictures and a current picture of family members. Post them on a website, email, or copy them and send them to each family. Match up who's who! Alternatively, focus on one family member a week or month. After guesses are in, share "spot-light" information (favorite color, birthday, birthplace, personal experiences, hobbies, favorite food, etc.) about that person.
6. Think of a theme, such as "Favorite Memories of Grandma" and write it on the front of a blank cassette tape. Send the tape to family members to record their thoughts on the theme. Make copies of the finished tape for each family.
7. Send family letters. The oldest starts the letter, sends it to the next in line, who adds his/her letter, and sends it on down until every member has added his or her own thoughts to the envelope. The youngest returns the letter to the oldest, who pulls out his/her original letter, submits a new one, seals the envelope and passes it down the line again. It can take weeks or months to circumvent the globe, but it's a way to keep perpetually in touch!
--Share your Family Fun-Time Ideas with us by sending them to Desi@DVO.com --