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  • Writer's pictureBy April Sage

10 Ideas to Celebrate Your Loved Ones

Updated: Jan 24

Grainy old time photo of April and a sibiling standing at the base of Mount Rainier

When I meet with clients and their families, I ask many questions to uncover their personal and unique stories. Understanding who they were is imperative in the journey of transitional living planning. During my interviews, I continuously had the same thought. I wish I had preserved the important and captivating stories of my loved ones who are no longer with us and celebrated them with a memorable day. Not just during a birthday party or Father’s Day, but a random special day that celebrated their favorite things and created a timeless treasured moment. Personally, an unexpected gesture is much more meaningful than flowers on Valentine’s Day.

This month I am inspired to compile activities and ideas that will highlight our loved ones, create memories together, and shine a spotlight on their legacy. It’s never too late to plan a moment together. I have created a list of ideas to help inspire you to get started.

Memory Sharing Event: Organize a gathering where family and friends can share stories, memories, and experiences they've had with the loved one, creating a heartfelt and memorable event, preferably not on a birthday or a specific holiday. Consider how memorable a surprise family picnic on a random Sunday could be.

Legacy Project: Collaborate on a project that preserves their legacy, such as creating a family recipe book, a photo album, or a memoir capturing their life journey. I once raised money for my grandfather’s favorite charity, the Lions Clubs International, on his behalf.

Intergenerational Workshop: Arrange a workshop where the loved one can share their skills or expertise with the younger generations, promoting intergenerational learning and bonding. Contact the local school or community Chamber to see how you can partner.

Outdoor Adventure: Plan an outdoor adventure or nature outing tailored to their interests and physical abilities, allowing them to enjoy the beauty of the world around them. A trip to the local mountain is beautiful, fun and can be experienced from a car for those less mobile.

Artistic Tribute: Organize an art exhibit showcasing their artistic talents, whether painting, pottery, or crafts, providing them a platform to display their creativity. Consider pairing it with a paint and sip inspired moment together!

Volunteer Effort: Participate in a volunteer project together, focusing on a meaningful cause to the aging person and turning the event into a shared act of giving back.

Music or Poetry Night: Host a music or poetry night featuring their favorite songs, poems, or musical instruments, creating an intimate and soulful atmosphere. There are many outdoor evening music events hosted in the community. Get a group together and meet up for some music in the park.

Storytelling Circle: Arrange a storytelling circle where they can recount tales from their past, sharing their life experiences and wisdom with younger generations. Include afternoon tea or a sundae-making bar to add extra fun.

Letter Writing Campaign: Encourage friends and family to write heartfelt letters expressing their love, gratitude, and admiration for the loved one and compile them into a cherished keepsake. This is great as a gift or a just because moment. Either way, it’s sure to be treasured for many generations.

Cultural Celebration: Celebrate their cultural heritage by organizing a traditional event or meal that reflects their background and values.

Remember to consider your loved one’s preferences, interests, and abilities when planning any of these events to ensure a meaningful and enjoyable experience for them. Food is usually the center of their universe and often the one thing they look forward to the most. Who doesn’t enjoy coming together to share a meal and indulge from time to time?

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