Planning a family reunion is akin to planning a wedding. You have guests coming from all over. You need to coordinate dates, food, and activities. Some people you know. Some you may not know. Getting everything together can be a major undertaking. Let’s look at a few ways you can create a family reunion to remember.
Set the Date Sooner Rather than Later
You need to set the date for the family reunion at least several months ahead. You are going to be dealing with several family schedules and finding a commonly available weekend may be a challenge. Creating an online chat board or forum is a good way to communicate with younger families. You may have to phone older family members for their availability.
Select Your Site Carefully
If the majority of people you want to attend the reunion live in a certain area, that is the best place to hold the reunion. However, exceptions can be made. You may all descend from a certain ancestor, like a great-grandparent. Holding the reunion at that ancestor’s home would be an extra special treat.
Food, Food, Food
Reunions are a great time for people to sit down around a table of food to talk and reminisce. Great food makes a great reunion. If most everyone is from a common area, you might ask them to participate in a potluck. However, if a good number are coming in from out of town, a catered meal might be a better idea. Think healthy when planning snacks and meals.
Also, keep activities in mind. If a large group is going off for a planned activity, make sure you have healthy snacks and beverages available so no one will get too hungry or thirsty.
Reunions are the perfect time to introduce family history to younger family members. Ask everyone to bring photos and scrapbooks related to the family line. Talk with older family members about what they remember growing up. See if everyone can determine how they are related to each other.
Another family history detail to bring up is health. Many families share genetic conditions and it’s important to share this information.
T-Shirts and Photos
Part of planning a family reunion is providing everyone with a way to remember the occasion. See if you can order t-shirts for everyone and ask about the sizes needed. You can hand out the t-shirts at the reunion or before it starts.
Plan on taking many photos of the occasion, including at least one group photo of everyone attending. Share these photos online. Print copies for those who don’t do much with computers.
Planning your family reunion takes time and patience. But, when the event happens and everyone goes home with a smile on his or her face, you can see why the effort was well worth it.