If you’re looking for ways to create more meaning with Memorial Day amidst the sidewalk sales and barbecues this weekend, consider having a Heritage Dinner in memory of loved ones lost. This is a great way to help kids (and adults) feel connected to their heritage. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Choose to focus on one person, someone you knew well or an ancestor that you research.
- Create a menu surrounding the person’s favorite foods. If you don’t know their favorite foods, research popular foods from that time period.
- Decorate with old photographs, yearbooks, personal belongings, clothing, etc.
- Guests could dress in period clothing as well.
- If old journals are available, share entries.
- What was daily life like for that person? Share details and compare them to daily life now.
- Create a historical context. What major events happened during the individual’s lifetime and how might that have affected their life?
- If you knew the individual personally, share stories and memories and encourage guests to do the same.
- Draw personal connections between the individual, yourself, and guests. Are there similarities in personality, looks, interests?
- If proximity allows, visit the grave site or other significant locations together as part of the event.
- You could also choose to focus on an entire family, involving guests in gathering the research about individual members.
- If you enjoy the experience, commit to making it an annual event.
Have any other ideas for a Heritage Dinner? Share them in the comments.