Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Connecting Over the Distance this Holiday Season

Kim and I were going through some boxes last weekend and found some treasures.  We found some old cassette tapes we had made when we were in college to send home to the family.  He has sent tapes home from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin and I had sent tapes home from study abroad in the Middle East to Utah.  We didn't know each other then so it was fun to listen to our younger selves.  They were treasures that our families kept with our letters and then returned to us when we got home.  We knew they were there but I'd forgotten about them.  What fun to discover them now.  We need to bring them into the digital age and store them with our other family history items.  

Likewise, my family had sent an old VHS tape to me while I was abroad.  I found this tape a few years back and took it to our Thanksgiving celebration.  My little sisters were so cute at that age and we got to see them and show the video to their current husbands.  We ought to dig it out this year and show their kids.  I remember when I received the tape I was so homesick I cried and cried while I watched it.  And I put it away and never watched it again because it made me so sad.  But what a joy to find now.  Pieces of family history that captured the every day and time capsuled it into the future.  

So I have a proposal for you if you are missing the regular holiday get togethers this year.  Make a recording, video or audio, and send it to your family.  Perhaps different parts of the family who are apart can share videos with each other.  Don't just let zoom conferences fade into the past.  Capture something and store it with your other family history items.  It might not seem very important now, but trust me, later it will feel like a cache of riches.  

Perhaps you can use costumes or props.  But it doesn't have to be a special production.  Tour your house.  Show them the projects you've been working on.  Take them through a day in the life.  Talk about past family gatherings.  Talk about what you want to do in the future.  Teach them a new (or old) recipe.  Talk about your family from the past.  Talk about your family now.  Talk about the craziness of 2020.  Someday we'll be on the other side of this strange year and we will have forgotten all the details.  It will be interesting to see what future generations think when they find out what we've been through.  

So put zoom away for a little bit.  Connect over the geographical distance this year, and see if you connect over the years too.  And let me know how it goes.