We are fam-ily: top 10 tips for planning a reunion

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1. Keep everyone informed.

If your reunion is annual, setting a standing date is helpful. A consistent date helps family members schedule.

2. Food. Food. Food.

If members are local, then plan a potluck of everyone’s signature dishes. Chip in for barbeque or grill. Homemade ice cream is a big treat.
If you are traveling, you may need to arrange catering. Or each branch of the family can be responsible for one meal including selecting the menu.

3. Location. Location. Location

The location of the family reunion is critical because it will affect attendance.

4. Activities for each generation.

Hearing about olden days is great talk at family reunions and can be interesting to kids. Kids should learn basic genealogy. Telling stories for hours may appeal to one generation while geocaching into the woods with cousins is fun for other generations. For the coolest family reunion ever– rent a bouncy house.

5. Be flexible.

Weather is always a factor. Have an alternative location in mind.

6. Share responsibilities.

Divvy up responsibilities by family or by generation. Knowing in advance who is responsible for what will eliminate anyone feeling put-upon, for on-site logistics or clean-up.

7. Keep records.

Keep a database of contact information. Do a headcount. Keep a notebook about who was in charge what, how many people attended and what investments were made.

8. Establish traditions.

Traditions make the reunion more fun and more of a can’t miss event.

9. Discover and enjoy your family.

A reunion is what you make of it. Get off the lawn chair and mingle! Encourage your kids – teens or elementary age – to do the same.
From Bringing Home the Bacon blog by Holly Michael, APR.

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