The dining table often becomes a focal point at a family reunion, enticing everyone to share a meal, catch up and forge new connections. A well-done table can serve as a conversation starter and backdrop for pictures that people can share and treasure for years afterward. Select the decorations with care to showcase your family's history, traditions and bond.
Select an appropriate theme
Choose a theme for the event that corresponds to family traditions, memorable family events or your heritage. For example, if your ancestors came from Germany, use shades of red, yellow and black for the decorations. Purchase tablecloths, plates, cups and eating utensils in these colors to echo the theme. You could also choose flowers native to your family's country of origin to decorate the tables. As much as adults enjoy family reunions, children may benefit even more because the events create a sense of belonging and a link to their family history.
Incorporate photographs of family members into the design of the tables at the event. Include pictures of family members attending the reunion, those who couldn't make it and relatives who have passed on. Glue a picture of each guest on individual place cards for a personalized decoration. Create a collage of family photographs and prop it on an easel behind the serving table so that everyone can see it.
Center creative efforts on centerpieces
Purchase or create centerpieces that complement your theme. For example, for a fall theme party held at a state park in October, choose orange, red and yellow flowers, baby pumpkins and Indian corn. Or ask a crafty and creative relative to make homemade centerpieces. At the end of the reunion, raffle off the centerpieces to one person at each table.
Present meaningful food
Present beautiful food that your entire family can enjoy. Choose family recipes that most people will enjoy and that inspire memories of happy times. If you're organizing a potluck, have each family member label their dish with a tag that details with whom the recipe originated. Choose your menu with care; food can make people feel welcome, put them at ease and provide an important connection to shared traditions.
Kate Taylor is a professional writer based in Lafayette, Ind. She has served as an online copywriter in areas such as pet care, education and landscaping. Taylor is working toward her M.B.A. at Loyola University Chicago.
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