It can be fun to send everyone home with a memento after these wonderful get-togethers, but this is especially significant for children, as a way to maintain the connection with faraway relatives.
As you start to plan your family gatherings, here are some ideas for some fun but inexpensive souvenirs.
1. Family Photo Album
What better way to preserve the memories than a photo album? These can capture a moment in time for growing families, since children change so quickly. With online services like Shutterfly, putting together an album can be as simple as uploading your photos and choosing a cute background. Best of all, these albums serve as continual reminders for kids of relatives they don’t see very often.
a. Make ahead: One year before our reunion we gathered photos of all the grandchildren and made an album for my parents as a thank you gift. As it turned out, we all loved it so much that we ordered copies, too!
b. Looking back: After one trip to Costa Rica, we put together a photo album of our trip, which we also sent to our family there.
2. Quote Book
When I was in high school I started to write down funny quotes from family and friends. It has evolved into a tradition, to the point that if I miss a family gathering, someone else will take over the “scribe” duties for me. Creating a quote book for everyone can be a great way to bring back fun memories from the trip.
When I was younger, I got to tag along with a good friend on a family trip. Everyone was so warm and welcoming. One of the way they made us “tag-alongs” feel like part of the family was to create a mock ceremony to make us honorary members of their clan.
Some families hold a similar ceremony at reunions to make everyone feel special by handing out simple awards to recognize each person’s unique qualities. These can be serious or humorous, depending on the family.
4. Custom T-shirts and Other Items
Another popular souvenir for family reunions and other gatherings is a custom t-shirt. At one time these were typically done at specialty shops and were not practical unless you were ordering in large quantities. Today, however, companies like Cafe Press, make it easy and affordable for anyone to design and order custom shirts.
Whatever you choose, have fun planning your family gatherings this summer!
How do you preserve memories for your children after a family reunion?