Family reunions usually require quite a commitment on the part of the attendees. In large families, people have to call off work, rearrange their personal engagements in their own place of residence and travel hundreds of miles. If it's your turn to host the family reunion in your locale, treat your diligent and loving family members with a souvenir to mark the occasion. Family reunions can sometimes be the last chance to see some elderly family members, so make sure to take lots of pictures for the young ones. Spend ample time planning your family reunion ideas so your family will have a wonderful time.
Mugs and T-shirts
Coffee mugs can be purchased in advance and are a favorite family reunion idea. Mugs can make a good choice for a family reunion plan put together on the fly, since they can often be purchased with state logos in bulk ahead of time. Another option is to custom-order printed coffee mugs with a family crest, family name, date and location of the reunion or a picture of a significant ancestor. According to "Reunion Planner," these souvenirs are a good idea if the costs of the souvenir have not been collected in advance, since people usually buy them, along with printed T-shirts, at reunions.
If your family is lucky enough to have a genealogy buff in its midst, call the expert in advance to see what kind of documentation he has. Often, genealogy research is mapped out visually using charts, generally referred to as family trees, and are great family reunion ideas. See local printing shops to have a genealogy chart professionally resized, printed and laminated for family members to take home.
Genealogy Photo Albums
A rather fun follow-up to a genealogy chart is a printed family tree booklet. Instead of printing the chart vertically, do it page by page in a horizontal fashion. Family members can flip through the family tree with any accompanying photos that are available. Leave a space where people can put in new additions to their immediate families.
If the family reunion is going to take place in a location requiring people to travel long distances, consider commissioning a local artisan. Artists who work on their own will have more ability to specialize the family reunion souvenir than a company that has set options for orders. Local artisans may be able to make engravings of family photos, for example, complete with the location and date of the event.
While "Reunion Planner" suggests using a video-taped log of the family reunion as a souvenir, try upgrading to DVDs and electronic photo albums on CD. Use a digital camera to take pictures of family members throughout the event. Take advantage of convenient road signs and local welcome signs. If the family reunion is held at a park rented out for the occasion, for instance, take a picture of the family at the entrance. According to "Reunion Planner," groups of 30 or more family members might benefit from hiring a professional photographer. Most professional photographers will have a digital option for delivery. This might also help cut down on costs by eliminating printing. Photographic evidence of the event can be a cherished family reunion idea.
- "Reunion Planner"; Phyllis A. Hackleman; 1998