As I mentioned in this post, I am a big believer in establishing and nurturing family rituals both for big events and for everyday moments. Not only do rituals and traditions offer a sense of fun, home, and continuity, but I think that they also offer opportunities for connection. In the case of extended family members living in other towns and states, I would like to find a way to establish some rituals or semi-regular activities to help keep us all connected (especially for my children and their cousins).
The May 2007 issue of Family Fun magazine had these ideas to offer:
* Create a perennial birthday calendar. Keep a list - organized by month - of family member birthdays decorated with family photos and craft materials from around the house.
* Host an annual Christmas ornament exchange. Each cousin/family member is randomly assigned the name of another cousin/family member for whom they will make or purchase a holiday ornament.
And my personal favorite:
* Start a linking letter. Create and circulate a newsletter supplemented with photos, mementos, and holiday treats. One family sends this "care package" to the next, which adds its own materials and pops it back in the mail to the next branch of the extended family. When the package makes it back to the original family, they simply remove their old news and photos, add updates, and send the whole thing on its way again.
The ideas presented in this article, and what has been on the forefront of my mind, have been focused on children. Of course, I'd love to hear any ideas that others have about special ways of staying connected as adults with siblings, parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, etcetera. Between Running Man and I we have three siblings and only one of them lives in the same area. We have some fun little ways of staying connected and, oddly enough, they all seem to involve some item of questionable value. Take this clown, for example. Creepy, don't you think? I'll share more on this little guy, his history, and his adventures another time.
|We found our favorite scary clown wrapped up like corn-on-the-cob in our grill...about 7 months after it had been placed there.|
So I ask, what do you do in your family to nurture fun and connection with family members who don't live in the same area?
Happy Tuesday, friends!
"A cousin is a ready-made friend for life." ~Anonymous