Saturday, July 23, 2011

Family Reunions

Apparently July is the time for family reunions, and after many years of gathering at Christmas, three years ago my mom's side of the family decided to gather in the summer instead. Weather being what it is in the Midwest (Kansas and Nebraska) and having many teachers in the family, summer seems to work better.

The first year was a bit of a trial run, so we also organized it around a surprise birthday party for my mom's 65th birthday. We didn't plan many activities but mainly figured out where 30-40 people were going to eat a couple times a day and where we were going to stay. Year two took us to Kansas for several activities and some down time for naps for kids, socializing and swimming. Year three we were back in Nebraska which included a trip to the cemeteries to visit some ancestors, and I brought (some of) my genealogy info to share. Now my immediate family is in charge for year four, so we will see what that brings.

Some things to consider with a family reunion:
1. Location, location, location (for food, activities and hotels we find a good-sized city is needed)
2. Activities for all ages: we've had swimming, shooting guns, shopping, bowling, cemetery tour, roller skating
3. Some down time: several of us still have young children who "need" naps, plus usually we just want to talk and catch up with our family
4. Traditions: Our family would be disappointed if my mom didn't bring chocolate angel food cake, I didn't bring mint brownies, and Aunt Mary didn't bring her sugar cookies.
5. Date and duration: Some people stick with the same weekend each year. We tend to try to find a weekend that fits with most of the family. Some reunions are just a few hours around lunch or dinner; we usually do most of the weekend, Saturday morn through Sunday noon. People usually don't have to take much time off work then.

That's about all I have. Feel free to add your suggestions. We don't have a very large family reunion, although we now are over 40 members if everyone attends. I think each year there has been one family not come, which is disappointing but the schedule doesn't always work for everyone.

Hope you take some time this summer to enjoy your family and have fun together!

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