Every time my three-year-old gets off of FaceTime with my mother, she says “I really miss grandmother, we haven’t seen her in months and years and days.” It breaks my heart every single time she says this.
My daughters are used to monthly visits to their grandmother’s home in Chicago. They love spending time at her house and with my other family that lives there. The pandemic has definitely taken a toll on our quick road trips to the Windy City, so we had to come up with some creative ways to celebrate National Family Day. I think these can work with families who are miles apart or just around the corner from one another.
Watch a family movie with Netflix Party
Make it a big deal with popcorn, drinks, and comfy pillows. From “The Princess and the Frog” to “Mirror, Mirror,” you can find something for everyone to enjoy. My advice is to choose the movie in advance, we don’t want to ruin it with an unhappy audience.
Meet up for a family picnic
My definition of a picnic is simply eating outside, so that could be with food you packed from home or grabbing a to-go order from a local restaurant. As long as the meal is eaten in the open air and a blanket or chair is involved, it’s a picnic in my book. A late afternoon picnic with family is a great time for conversation and games. Bring along a few balls, bikes, and or skates for some physical distancing fun.
Send a handwritten note or handmade craft
Most of us have spent more than enough time in front of a screen for work or play. What if we were to dust off that pen and lined paper and send a note. Tell the recipient how great they are, what you miss about them, and maybe the details of an event that happened to you that week. Draw a picture or send a hug, it will be treasured because of the personal touch and time spent expressing your feelings.
Marking this time together by planting something that grows each year can serve as a reminder of the growth that has taken place this year. Planning, planting, sowing, and tending to something is an activity that reinforces the family bond. Whether you plant a garden, shrubs, or a tree, your family will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor as the seasons change.
Make a Time Capsule
When we talk about 2020, there is no doubt that it has been quite a year. To say it has been full of ups and down minimizes all that it encompasses and the year isn’t even over yet. It would be fun to preserve some of the moments that stood out thus far. Gather a few artifacts on family day such as a printout of an Instagram post, a face mask, a poem, ticket stub, a magazine cover, article, etc. Be sure to place it in a box that will stay cool and dry.
Whatever you decide to do, be sure that it is stress-free. Set aside the time to deepen your relationship with your family.