Originally published on Savvy Auntie.
Auntie’s Day is an occasion for honoring and thanking the savvy women who continue to enrich the lives of their nieces and nephews. Aunties may take pride in all the ways that they have loved and cared for the little ones. Nieces and nephews may in turn dedicate cards, flowers, and gifts to show their appreciation. Siblings may express their heartfelt gratitude for the wonderful sisters who have shared in the laughter and the pain throughout the years.
If you have an especially large family with many Long-Distance Aunties (LDAs), there are still ways in which you can reconnect and bond in celebration of Auntie’s Day. Aside from the usual long-distance phone calls, Skype chats, and other various forms of online messaging, you might consider turning to the age-old art known as letter writing.
Auntie Chain Messages
In the style of a modified chain letter, Aunties can use this activity as an opportunity to reunite with their sisters on paper, to remind each other of the trials and the subsequent joy and understanding that came as a result of their combined strength and perseverance.
Imagine the delight that she’ll have once she reads that meaningful message, carefully penned by her sister’s hand. It’s priceless.
Start off the chain with one Auntie – that’s you! Write one message to one of your sisters, expressing thanks or hopes for future visits with the kids. In case the sisters are unaware, include a brief portion that explains the purpose behind the chain. The recipient will then write her own message to one of the other sisters, attach the message to the original and send it along – Aunties may choose to send postcards instead of the traditional letter. The final sister will write her own message to the first.
When all the sisters have read their own loving notes, have everyone get together for Auntie’s Day – either in person, over-the-phone, or on a massive live chat – to bond over the messages that were shared, laugh at all the silly stories remembered, and treasure the irreplaceable sisters who cherish and adore their nieces and nephews as if they were their own. If Aunties have the chance to meet each other to celebrate Auntie’s Day, don’t forget to return the messages to the recipients so that they can have them as keepsakes. If the LDAs are just too far away and can’t manage a reunion with all the gals, consider having a Hangout on Google+ – up to nine Aunties may chat face-to-face as if they are in the same room.
Below is an example of an Auntie Chain that brought three sisters together for an early Auntie’s Day reunion.
From Manang (Elder Sister) Cel to Tita (Aunt) Jocey
Miles and miles we traveled, the countless times we visited my daughter. Those were the most precious moments I will always treasure. Whenever I asked, “Please, drive me over to Berkeley,” you never hesitated. You never said, “No.” You were always there for me. Sometimes, I wondered what I would have ever done without you. Together, we shared so many special memories. […] When my daughter’s world seemed upside-down, you gave her the comfort in knowing that she could always reach out to you in times of need, in times of trial. You listened to her and helped her see things more clearly. Your support and encouragement gave her the strength to tackle life’s challenges. You’re such a beautiful person, an inspiration. I can’t find all the words to tell you how much you are being loved and appreciated. I am blessed to have such a sister and a wonderful Aunt for my daughter.
From Tita Jocey to Tita Cora
To My Dearest Sister Cora,
Thank you so much for the generous gift you gave on our 25th Wedding Anniversary. Rey and I will add it to the fund for our next big trip LOL! I just want to let you know how great of an Aunt you are to my children. With all my love and sincerest appreciation of all the things – the little things and the big things – you shared with me and Rey and especially with my kids, I do thank you more than you’ll ever know. You were always there for them when they needed your support – especially financially hahaha! I remember when you gave me a baby shower at your place, and you promised a year’s supply of diapers for Janice and Krystal. You kept that promise. That was such a big help to me and Rey. When they turned 18, I cried so hard to you, and you came that night and listened and gave your full support. I will forever be grateful. Despite all the obstacles that come our way, the closeness between us will never change.
From Tita Cora to Manang Cel
Dearest Manang Cel,
I just want to thank you for truly being my big sister and Aunt to my children. You played a very important role in my life when I was growing up, and now you play an important role for my children as well. Your guidance and support is never-ending. You always stressed the importance of education to my children like you did with our brothers and sisters. You rewarded them when they did well in school, motivating them to keep working hard and achieve their goals. Thank you again for always being there for me and my family. Thank you for being so thoughtful. I love you.
Photo: Courtesy of A. Noelle