As we write this, our families are scattered across the globe. To keep track of each other and current with the events in all our lives, the family letter has been invaluable.

Every Sunday, each member of the family writes in with a “weekly roundup”; what she’s been up to, what is new in her life and any topics of interest for the family. They each email their news to me. I copy and paste the various updates into one family letter which I then email to each of them. There is no perfect antidote to the distance that separates us all, but the letter does allow us to keep up with each other’s lives and continue to share our stories. It also makes a wonderful family archive. 

The secret to success is to let weeks pass without 100% participation. Life gets busy. Sometimes I just get a quick note, sometimes nothing. This shouldn’t become a burden for anyone. The threat is that if there’s no real news from a family member for too long, something might be made up!

Or, maybe a newsletter format suits your family. A newsletter is more ambitious than the humble family letter, and the following article has relevant suggestions from how to choose a name, to asking for contributions around themes.
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The most elaborate option is an online family newsletter with photos. For $4.00 a month you can publish your own. There are features including automatic reminders to family members to contribute and an option to prompt everybody with a question. Go to: