We asked: how do you keep your family connected across the generations?

Readers answered:

I have a large family who are very close. My mom is one of 11 children and my dad is one of 14. I have 43 first cousins and 92 second cousins on my mom's side alone. Here are tips on how we stay a strong family unit.

* We issue a quarterly newsletter that includes birthdays, anniversaries, births, illnesses, house purchases and academic achievements.

* On my mom's side we elect a family historian every four years or as necessary.

* We have a directory that contains the family tree and history in the front.

* We are in the process of creating a family cookbook so that recipes are preserved.

Mary Ann Jackson, Newark NJ

I am 27 and was raised by my grandmother. On Sunday mornings you'll find me sitting at her table drinking coffee. spilling my guts, and asking for advice and recipes. Most Saturdays I drive her down to the wharf in D.C., and we buy crabs, which are her favorite. She's my sweetie and I will always love her, especially because she taught me how to be a lady.

Shaunta Davis, Forestville MD

Although my brother and I are adults now, we still make it a point to have "Bennett time" with our parents by watching movies together. Because everyone has distinct tastes, we're not allowed to choose anything that's a fave for one and not everyone else--it has to be something we can all enjoy.

Denise Bennett, New York City

Every year a of us--aunts, cousins, uncles, husbands and wives--go on a family vacation. Last year we went to Jamaica for a week. Instead of staying at a resort, we stayed in the house where my grandmother grew up. Living together for a week strengthened some old bonds and created new ones.

Christina Aponte-Smith, Brooklyn

The African way of life is to keep the family close. As we're in a foreign country, even my sisters-in-law are close and important. We try to meet often for barbecues in the summer and casual visits.

Doreen Motsi, Birmingham UK

Our family stay connected by breaking bread together no matter what. We join hands to pray and give thanks. In the world today, where so many people are wrapped up in themselves, it's sad that we've forgotten to do this. Remember, our children are watching us, and they will shape and build their own traditions based on what they see us doing today.

Ramona Washington, Fresno CA

We started having family reunions in 1978, and we have had one every year since. We meet for the entire weekend, from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. A particular family member is the "host," and he or she plans a schedule of events and activities for everyone. We generally have as many as 150 people in attendance.

Kathleen Richards, Rosedale NY

To learn more about our family history, my mother hired a genealogist in Mississippi who talked to older people in the area and went to the courthouse to pull slave, birth and marital records. Now my mother has two large books on our history, including old photographs, documents and an extensive family tree. Every year during the holidays we pull out this book and talk about our history and heritage. It helps us appreciate our ancestors we've never met. We show this book to all the people who marry into our family to help them understand our heritage and give them a deeper look at who we are.

Koren Vaughan, Springfield Gardens NY

On Sunday evenings my husband Anthony and I sit down with our kids, Jordan, 10, and Kiara, 13, and discuss a topic we like: education, hip-hop, soccer, boys, politics, new PlayStation games. Nothing is off-limits. If the children have questions, they have the floor to ask them. At the end of the session we all pray together and dismiss. And what goes on there, stays there.