Used to be, family reunions were a great way to reconnect with folks you hadn’t seen in a while. And reunions were a fun way to collect some great family history, too!
Sadly, “social distancing” has changed all that. For now, at least, cruise ship get-togethers and globe-trotting gatherings just aren’t in the cards for most of us.
So, how can you still keep in touch, and gather a bit of family history, too?
Consider a “virtual” reunion! Luckily, we now have FaceTime, Zoom and virtual-chat options. But don’t forget the good ol’ telephone, too!
Especially if you’re hoping to gather family history, it helps to make a specific plan to get together. That’s the unspoken “magic” of a family reunion, after all: everyone has carved time out of busy schedules to simply spend special time together.
Here are a few ways you might organize a “virtual” family reunion and focus on gathering family memories:
Three Ideas for a “Virtual” Family Reunion:
* Schedule a “memory visit” with an elder in your family. Gather a list of questions ahead of time, and ask several family members to join you for a group chat or conference call. Whether you’re in the same room with your relative or thousands of miles apart, you may find that expressing interest in memories together will prompt long-forgotten stories to start flowing.
* Organize a “recipe round-robin.” Share your favorite family recipe with your relatives via a chat service or just by email. Be sure to ask if the exchange brings any family “food stories” or special outings to mind.
* Make a special date to share what’s in that old trunk in the attic with other family members. Got a great photo of grandparents or great-grandparents? Have an old family marriage certificate, family bible, or knitted afghan tucked away? Share pictures or scans with other family members, and ask them to do the same. Then schedule a virtual visit to chat about the memories those precious heirlooms bring up!
Got more suggestions or ideas of your own for a virtual family reunion? I’d love to hear them!