Staying in Touch
- Make a recording of yourself reading a favorite children’s book for a niece, a nephew, or a grandchild―or for your own child, if you’re leaving for a long business trip or a hospital stay. End the recording with a sweet good-night message for the child.
- Give your long-distance grandmother a window into your family’s daily life by assembling an annual scrapbook of your adventures. Include Polaroids, postcards, newspaper clippings, travel brochures, and handwritten anecdotes you’ve collected over the course of the year.
- For computer-friendly family members who are far away, create annotated online photo albums on kodakgallery.com, shutterfly.com, or snapfish.com, adding pictures from birthday blowouts, weekend trips, and impromptu dinner parties so they can put faces with the names of all the friends you regularly mention over the phone. Or share personal video clips of these occasions on sites like vimeo.com and dropshots.com.
- Send someone who may be homesick a few clippings from or a subscription to her hometown newspaper.
- When you move into a new home, create a video tour of the house. Show folks around room by room, describing how you’ve decorated and where all the furnishings came from. If the video recipient sent you a housewarming gift, be sure to point out where you’ve put it and how much you’re enjoying it.
- Embark on a joint project. If you and your mother share a passion for crochet, make a blanket together. (Select a pattern and yarn, then trade off on the job every week or two.) Or work a tough puzzle with your sister: When one of you gets stumped on that Sunday New York Times crossword clue, mail it to the other, and continue until you have completed the whole puzzle together.