Did you see your family members as much as you think you should have last year? Maybe it’s time to plan a family reunion and tie it all together with a family cookbook!
Not sure how to do it? Here are some tips to make the planning easier:
1. GUESS WHO
Estimate how many family members may attend the family reunion. Make phone calls to one person in each family group who could estimate attendance. Have them pass the word.
Based on the potential number of attendees, decide if the event can be at a family member’s house, a local park, a convenient restaurant, or a social hall. The location will depend on the budget, which will be determined by the number attending.
Longer family reunions may entail the rental of a condo, house, lodge or other venue. For example, I was on a cruise ship a few years ago and everywhere onboard were people wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with “I’m with Marge.” We finally saw a little old lady with a t-shirt that said “I’m Marge.” She had come into some money and invited 146 family members on board for a last family reunion fling in her old age. Wow!
3. DATE & TIME
If you are the chief planner (guess what? – if you plan the family reunion once, it’s your job forever), then go ahead and set a date and time that is most convenient for you. It may be a special date to the family (such as a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion), or an arbitrary date that becomes the annual family reunion date (e.g. the first Tuesday after the first Monday in the month of November in the even numbered years.) Not everyone will be able to make it on the day (or week) you decide. That’s all right; they’ll make it the next time after they hear how terrific the family union was.
4. FOOD & BEVERAGES
If the family reunion is to be a joint effort instead of a hosted event (by you or another family member), then the food and set-up chores can be divvied up among different family groups. Yeah, some family members will flake and not come on time, but they are relatives! Family reunions will bring you closer together and maybe they will arrive on time with the appetizer next time.
The overall idea for having a family reunion is to have fun and catch up with relatives. Depending on the number of hours (or days) the family reunion extends, some fun activities may include games, singing, creating a family play, or doing crafts. Taking photos during a family reunion is a given, but make sure lots of planned photos are taken along with the candid shots. It is popular these days to have a theme for family reunions (e.g. camping, Texas BBQ, golf, community service) that taps into any common areas of interest. Whatever the “theme,” good eating is also part of any family reunion. A rib or chili cook-off can also be a fun way to get the family involved.
Some type of memento is always a great take-away for those attending the family reunion. We recommend putting together a family cookbook using Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software. If you have a cooking contest, get all the recipes, enter them into the recipe template, print, and send them to every relative. You’ll have the foundation for a great family cookbook. P.S. Use photographs taken at the family reunion to complete the family cookbook pages and biography section of the cookbook.
I have come to realize that the memories and fun family times gained from a family reunion are well worth the effort. Family reunions help build stronger family relationships and common interests, and also can help turn family strangers into real caring relatives. What a concept!
Happy Family Reunion Cookbooking,