Saturday, April 9, 2016
H is for Home Movies
Home movies are a great way to catch up on what everyone’s been doing in their lives since you’ve last been together. Allow one night at the reunion for sharing family home movies. Serve popcorn and drinks, and have plenty of comfortable seating for adults; children can always sprawl out on the floor on pillows. Take turns sharing each family’s home movies. Make a guessing game out of which family is up on the screen!
In addition to the movies, ask families to bring any old photo albums and family histories that they have on their shelves to the reunion. Arrange for a table specifically meant for displaying the photos and genealogy information that family members have collected. Label them carefully so none of the family heirlooms get misplaced.
You may want to offer a photo swap, as there may be photos that people would like to exchange that are in each others collection. Sometimes photos are hung onto long after their significance remains, and they could be valuable to another person who was also in the photo. Or there may be duplicate photos to share. If you have a scanner, someone can scan old one-of-a-kind photos and print them out for those who want them.
If you simply have too may photos in your albums and in shoe boxes, the reunion is a good time to sort through them and give away ones you no longer need. A rule of thumb is that for every event photographed, save the three best and discard the rest. That will limit the numbers of photo albums and boxes of unorganized photos lying around your house that you probably don’t look at that often anyway. By having a manageable number, they become that much more special and easier to reminisce through when you have the desire to look at them.
Another great idea is to bring any memory books to the reunion for sharing. A memory book is a type of journal with prompts to share information and thoughts about one’s life. There is space to write answers to questions that may cover life periods such as growing up, work, marriage, children, and other aspects of one’s life.
These memory books are typically completed by grandma or grandpa, and have a wealth of wisdom and great stories about their lives and of their children growing up. If your family does not have any of these memory books, now is the time to buy one or several and hand them out to the “elders” in the group for them to take home and complete at their leisure. The next time a reunion is held, they can bring them back to share with the group and their grandkids. The memory books will become a family heirloom, and at some later date, you can scan the pages and distribute them to interested family members so they each have their own copy.