A Meaningful Tradition
There are few times that we gather together in our lives that can be as meaningful and memorable as a family reunion. Families grow and sometimes grow apart, so reunions act as a milepost, a chance to reconnect and share experiences and renew our sense of family. It can be as simple as an impromptu backyard cookout to a well planned getaway spot. With some planning and some help, you can organize and pull off a reunion that will ensure your family wanting to continue the tradition year after year.
Whether meeting at the old homestead or a park, a handful of people or a real crowd, there are a few things that you'll have to think about and making a to-do checklist and sharing the preparations will make your family reunion run smoothly and enable you to avoid the stress and enjoy the day yourself. Games to get re-acquainted and break the ice, preparing old family recipes and asking relatives to bring family photos and mementos will help to create the feeling of family and the sharing of your family's past will rekindle the heritage you're celebrating.
Take photos and/or videos of the day creating a scrapbook or dvd's that can be added to with each passing year and post them online for family members who can't attend or to just revisit throughout the year. You can use the website to keep in touch, send out a yearly newsletter or send out information about the next reunion.
Find that creative cousin and gather all the family history you can to design your family tree. Using online sources, family records and just their memory you can catalogue your family's roots and see just how far you've come. Take that first step in organizing a family reunion and see just how much fun it is to step into your family's past together.
Invitations Set the Scene
What information on the invitation will encourage your family members to come? An old family photo showing the common ancestors and their children? Information on the activities and entertainment that will be available. If the event will be at a park where everyone is bringing part of the meal and essentials, be sure to be specific. If necessary, send an accompanying insert with a list for each family.
Family Reunion "Teams"
Consider having t-shirts made for the reunion! You can send them in advance and ask that they be worn to the reunion. Advance color coding or random tagging the shirts could arrange teams or groups for activities. Break into two colors and you have two softball teams. One color per nuclear family could provide teams for croquet. A tournament for small groups, like badminton or corn hole, could provide the reason to award a memorable trophy which must be returned to pass on to next years "lucky" winners. Group activity ideas:
- Softball Game
- Volleyball Game (use a HUGE ball for more fun!)
- Badminton Game
- Croquet Tournament
- Water Balloon Toss
- Corn Hole Tournament
- Chili Cook off (secret "family" recipes)
- Juggling lessons
- Horseshoe Tournament
- Three-legged race
- Races through an inflatable obstacle course
- Greased Watermelon Water Polo in the swimming pool
- Musical rings (like musical chairs but with hula hoops)
- Obstacle course
- Wheelbarrow Races