Some reunions are planned around milestone birthdays or anniversaries, while others happen each year on a specific date, according to Genealogy.com. Most reunions take place in the summer to accommodate those members with children. No matter when they're held, reunions are a time to strengthen family bonds. There are many activities designed to break the ice and set the stage for learning more about family members, according to Family-Reunion.com.
No matter the size of your reunion, a short welcoming speech is a good idea to make the event significant, thank organizers and outline activities for the week, according to Family Reunion.com. Good speeches thank attendees, mention various branches of the family and include humor or inspiration, according to the website.
Bring family together through food. A cookbook created from favorite family recipes is a popular reunion gift, according to Family-Reunion.com. Ask family members to provide recipes in advance. Consider including pictures of contributors next to his or her recipe.
Strengthen family bonds through a group project. Repairing gravestones, creating a quilt or forming a scholarship or investment club can all get family members working together, according to the African American Genealogical Society of North Carolina (AAGSNC).
Who doesn't like freebies? Pull together some goody bags for reunion attendees by contacting the location's convention and visitors bureau and asking for promotional giveaways, AAGSNC suggests. Another option is online research for local coupons or promotions.
Just like conferences have brochures, a family reunion should have a booklet or program. The booklet should include both a family history and directory, a section remembering those family members who have passed on, a welcome letter, family business cards and family photos, the AAGSNC recommends.
A little recognition can go along way toward family bonding, according to Family-Reunion.com. Popular award categories include oldest and youngest family members, the couple with the most kids, the family members who traveled the farthest to attend and the family that has attended the most reunions.
While family members might bring many differences to the event, all can feel united with a reunion T-shirt. It's a good idea to ask family members to order and pay for a T-shirt when they RSVP for the event. Hold a contest inviting family members to submit a design for the shirt.
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Eryn Travis has over 15 years of freelance-writing experience. She has written for "Aviation News Today" and was the managing producer and host for the cable TV news show of the same name. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Maryland and is finishing up a master's degree in communication studies from West Chester University.