July is National Family Reunion Month! Lately, we’ve become less concerned with material things and more interested in strengthening our connections with family and friends. Here are some ideas for activities to do with your loved-ones to make your time together more meaningful and memorable. Do them once or make them annual traditions.
This TV segment airs on Great Day Houston network on July 2 and 10, 2009. Here’s a link to watch it http://www.khou.com/greatday/video/?nvid=376736&shu=1.
Plant A Tree
Planting a tree together every year is a great way to spend a day together. Plant them in your yard or plant them for a neighbor or friend, local parks, or tree planting charities. To make the memory last, keep a journal and map of the trees. Each year you can take a tour of all your trees together. Take videos during the planting and every year as you and the trees grow, and make notes about how the trees changes, the kinds you planted, the people you helped, etc.
Display Sources – Avocado, Kumquat, Olive, and flowering trees from http://www.joshuasnativeplants.com/, The Flip video cameras in conventional and HD from http://www.theflip.com/, Journal from http://www.brushdance.com/, stickers and scrapbook supplies from Texas Art Supply (http://www.texasart.com/ for locations).
Take a trip together for an afternoon/day/weekend/week to do something special together you all enjoy – movies, fishing, volunteering for charities, visiting stadiums around the country, visiting all the national parks, etc. To make the trip last all year long, document the trip with photos and personal captions.
Display Sources – 8-inch GiiNii SLOPE digital picture frame, $70 from Wal-Mart or http://www.giinii.com/, photo album colorful pens, photo caption stickers and photo album from Texas Art Supply (http://www.texasart.com/ for locations).
Make dinner even more special by plannning the menu, shop for ingredients, cooking, eating and cleaning up together as a family. Take pictures of all the action and make a scrap book of the recipes, pictures of the cooking/eating, comments from the family about how good/bad the meal was and the fun you had together.
Display Sources – Cannon Digital Elph Powershot & Nikon ColorPix digital cameras from Houston Camera Exchange at http://www.hcehouston.com/ (Houston Camera Exchange has new and used cameras – great for families on a budget). Scrapbooks, scrapping papers, and supplies from Texas Art Supply (http://www.texasart.com/ for locations).
Get To Know You Journals
Send out “get to know you more” questions or “A Few Things I’ve Been Meaning To Ask” Journals before the party and ask eveyone to bring their answers to share. You’ll be surprised by the new topics of conversation and what you learn about each other. What’s your favorite childhood memory? Who did you look up to growing up? What was your first job? What were your proudest moments as a parent?
Display Sources – “A Few Things I’ve Been Meaning To Ask” Journals from http://www.sanddunepublishing.com/ ($15) in English and Spanish.
You Make A Difference Party Favors
Make little home-made booklets or journals with the qualities, character traits, or wisdom you appreciate from your family members. Create a booklet for each family member and have everyone at the party write a line or two. Or you can put each comment on a small piece of paper and present them in a tiny keep sake box. It’s a nice way to say the things we feel but never get around to saying. And each person will have a daily reminder that they are loved and appreciated.
Display Sources – “12 Ways You’ve made A difference Journals from, http://www.someonespoilme.com/ ($28), BE Boxes keepsake boxes from http://www.bluedogzdesign.com/ ($12) and Scrapbooks, scrapping papers, and supplies from Texas Art Supply (http://www.texasart.com/ for locations).
What’s Sarah Wearing?
Alberto Makali embellished top style #141580 (http://www.albertomakali.com/) from Dillard’s, Isabel trouser jeans from Dillard’s, Coach platform peep-toes from Macy’s.