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Our family has been having a reunion on a yearly basis. We have between 40 and 50 people attending. We take turns having it at our homes or at a lapa*.
Every year for the reunion, we decide what foods we are going to have, and then it is easy to let everyone know what to bring. We have a list with all the e-mail addresses. It makes it so much easier liaising with everyone. We also opened a Facebook Reunion page, where we can post pictures of the events.
By Erika from South Africa
Editor's Note: According to Wikipedia "A lapa is a structure that is popular in South Africa. It usually consists of a thatched roof supported by wooden poles. Lapas are commonly used as semi-open entertainment areas."
Once I attended a family reunion which wasn't as entertaining as it promised to be. Sitting with my aunt and my mother-in-law we found that we spent most of the early afternoon figuring out how everyone was related to us. After dinner one of us took out a pen and began to scribble a family tree onto the paper tablecloth. It was quite an extensive oak when we were finished, and we had many missing branches.
In the weeks that followed my mother-in-law and I tried to find those branches. We filled in birth dates, middle names, and other family trivia but still had holes. We then decided that during the following year's reunion we were going to finish this tree.
Our tree inspired us. We made one for each side of my husband's family as well as for my own smaller family. It took hours of work and reams of paper, but tucked in a scrapbook are my trees. From there I was inspired to find pictures of these people, another family reunion project. This third reunion I took candid photos so that I could keep them in a scrapbook which looked like a high school yearbook of my husband's clan. Then, I delved into boxes of photos in my own grandmother's attic to create a family shrub of my family.
The time I spent with the people who helped me to put the albums together was the most precious result of the work. My grandmother identified people that no one else but she knew; now they're labeled forever. I heard stories that would have one day been forgotten, and we found pictures of people who had fallen to the backs of our minds.
Most recently, I realized the importance of those family reunion afternoons. When my mother-in-law passed away six weeks ago, I remembered working with her on the family album. She was the one everyone asked when they needed a family address or cousin's birthday, and as we move on without her I realize the importance of what she gave to me. That afternoon as we sifted through the pictures to create a collage for her memorial, I knew who the people in the pictures were thanks to her and it made me miss her all the more.
As the holidays approach, arrange gatherings for your family and create a family tree, take a family portrait, or make a family video. These are the things I did and will never regret.
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I want to start a family reunion tradition. We don't have one now but our family is getting pretty large with brothers and sisters moving away with kids, often to different states. My sister and I have decided to start to plan a family reunion and we hope to have it be a yearly event. What I am wondering is if anyone out there does this and if they have any advice? What works for you? Any tips or advice would be appreciated.
Jules in TX
We have an annual family reunion from my grandparents forward. Anyhow many of us live in different states across the Us from NY to Cali. IT is hard to have one family prepare all the food so we do crafts and auction them off for money to finance catering and an airconditioned building at some state park. We have member who use travel trailers, stay at motels, rent a cabin at the park, camp out in tents etc.
We have a bbq every year for our family. We keep it pretty simple and laid back. The date is set for the Sun after the Aug long weekend, rain or shine, every year. It is potluck-my Dad, who hosts it at his house, every year, provides the meat (it actually started out as a pig roast, as my Dad used to raise hogs). From there, everyone brings something-no one calls and plans, just brings their specialty. It's kind of gotten to be where my aunt always brings corn on the cob to shuck and boil there, another brings deviled eggs (her specialty) and I love baking so I bring some of those treats, and salads and stuff-whatever they feel like!
We are in Western Australia and every 2 years we have a weeks holiday/fishing trip. One BiL and his family live up north so the families from the south of the state drive all day and the northeners drive all day and we meet up at Shark Bay which is midway. We rent chalets at a caravan park and all share the costs. As the kids get older and get their own families I supose the group will just get bigger.
WE HAVE A REUNION EVERY YEAR, AND IN A DIFFERENT CITY. THIS YEAR I AM PLANNING THE REUNION HERE IN ARLINGTON, TEXAS BUT DON'T KNOW WHERE TO HAVE IT.WHERE ARE SOME GREAT SPOTS TO HAVE IT.DO YOU HAVE A THEME? FOR AN EXAMPLE"BUILDING THE GAP","STAYING CONNECTED "ETC.
I posted this as a new request:
Don't forget to bring pictures and albums from the past, everyone loves this!
I would like information on starting a family reunion.
Tereas from Florida
Choose a meeting place that is some what conveniant or appealing for your family and pick a date. Create invitations and send them out to everyone a few months before the reunion. Some families just have a day event and others find a place to camp for a weekend, you could even combine the two where you camp or go to a hotel for the weekend but have one day set as the Reunion day and those who could not stay the weekend can make it for just that one day.
I hope that helps,
7 SIMPLE STEPS
1. Find families names/addresses in the phonebook.
2. Find nearest Hall and ask for the cost of however many cups, plates etc, what you will need.
3. Start jotting down a list of food and snacks.
4. Start thinking of fun games to play, (like egg and spoon race, potato sack race etc...
5. Write out your Reunion letter to the addresses.
6.Make sure you know exactly how many are coming before ordering the drinks, cups, plates.
7. Have a speech ready for when you are all together.
I hope this helps.
How do I write a letter to inform my family members that a group of us planning a reunion
I think I overdid in helping my two sisters to start a family reunion to honor my now deceased parents of 10. I have a computer so I was able to make invitations, send to relatives and their heirs allowing the main members to conact their heirs. In July 2005, we used a patriotic theme (just a thought), rented a shelter house or an area squad bldg at a nominal price, used cheap plastic tablecloths plus centerpieces; contacted family through mail or telephone. My best to you. Ours continues this year, next month with a fall motif or you don't need one a motif at all. Make a list of those invited so as not to overlook someone. norma