I remember going to family reunions when I was just a kid. They were normally held outside at a park or inside a rented hall. At that time, a reunion was just seeing a sea of elderly faces that I didn’t know. After I grew up, I realized the importance of knowing who your distant relation are. It gives you a sense of who you are, and where you came from.
If you want to plan your own family reunion, you should begin at least a year ahead of time. Talk to immediate family members to see if anyone else is interested in the idea. Trust me, if you can’t generate interest, then you’re done before you start. You can plan the entire event on your own, if you choose. But if you can find several people who like the idea of a family reunion, then a few of them will undoubtedly offer to help you out.
The next thing to do, is decide when and where your own family reunion will be held. You’ll automatically think of places it can be held in the town you live in. However, holding it where you live might not be the best idea. The location will need to be a central city for your family. If you, and most of your family, lives in Denver, Colorado, for example, then Denver would be a good choice. If most of the family lives in Cleveland, Ohio, you’ll need to travel to them.
As for the date, if your family reunion will be held in the warmer, western part of the United States, your choices of months will be wider. Otherwise, if it’s in the eastern part of the map, which is cold during the fall and winter months,
you’ll be restricted to choosing one of the warmer summer months.
Naturally, the summer months are often the best time to hold a family reunion since children and college goers are out of school for the season.
Once you know when and where, you’ll need to find a suitable location to hold your reunion at. If it’s local, you can use your phone book to find parks, pavilions, halls, et cetera. Check with neighbors, friends, and co-workers to see where they recommend. You can also call the local Chamber of Commerce for advice on finding meeting places.
If the location is out-of-your-town, you can use the Internet to find places to hold your reunion. Once you have a few possibilities in mind, call the places on the phone to find out current details. (Not all web sites are kept current.)
Now that you have the “where and when”, you’ll of course need the “who” you’re going to invite. An updated copy of your family genealogy makes a great guest list. It gives you the names of everyone in your bloodline who’s still alive from the past several generations. To find addresses, you can log onto the Internet and use www.anywho.com.
Before you send the invitations out, you’ll need to decide how the food and beverages are going to be supplied. If money is no object for you, you can foot the bill yourself. Otherwise, you can hold a “Pot Luck” Family Reunion. A Pot Luck is one where everyone brings a dish to share. You can also stipulate on the invitations that everyone bring their own table service. That way, all you need to provide are the beverages. Coffee, punch, and water usually covers all bases.
Another idea is to ask each attendee to kick in a nominal amount of money. Then, you can use the dough to buy the food, beverages, plastic silverware and paper products yourself.
You’ll also need to make up maps and detailed directions to send along in the invitations so everyone can find the meeting site.
Once you have the basics figured out, it’s time to consider details. For example, you’ll want someone to take pictures and maybe run a camcorder during your family reunion. You may want to provide games to keep the kids occupied, and so on.
Above all, relax and enjoy your own family reunion!