Twenty-five to thirty questions are just about right. Start with serious questions to inform. How many living generations are there in our family? Who is the eldest living family member? Ask the person to stand, be recognized, given flowers and accolades. Who is the youngest member present? Ask the parents to show off the child. Which couple has been married longest? Shortest? Again, ask them to stand and be recognized. How many sets of twins were born in the family? Then, more on to lighter, less serious questions. What was a grandmother’s middle name? How many children did the family founders have? Name them. Introduce anything about your family you think is unique, such as: What was Uncle Jim’s job in the Army? Answer: Uncle Jim was a bugler in the Cavalry.
Include some silly questions, too. What is Uncle Bubba’s real name? What relationship was Aunt Kirsten to us and how? Many times we call someone aunt/uncle/cousin when they’re not really relatives. Younger members don’t know why. What were Uncle Ed’s two cats’ names?
And, finally, the bragging questions. The purpose of these is to recognize people who are doing something special or outstanding. Emphasize what’s extraordinary and worth recognition. Who’s attending college this year? Each college student should stand, tell the name of the college and their major. Who bought a house since our last reunion? Who had a baby this year?
Once you start thinking questions come easily. Questions are limited only by your imagination. You don’t have ask all of them at once. Remember your objectives are to entertain, educate, recall and get everyone involved.
Keep comments and speeches to a minimum. Never ask a question for which you have no answer. A slight dose of foolishness is fun, but don’t get too silly. People will lose interest. Be creative. Avoid negatives, such as: How many husbands did Aunt Trudy have? Or why did Uncle Lee go to jail on Christmas Eve?
Be patient, understanding and versed in crowd control. Don’t play favorites, people will yell and scream from every direction if you always call on your sister for answers.