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Family reunions require planning & organizing to yield a successful result. The date and place (my home) for our family reunion were set 12 months ago, in order for family to mark their calendars and look for good rates on airline tickets, rental cars, and hotel rooms. We have a comfortable home, but some family members preferred to stay in a hotel.

About a month before the reunion, a detailed schedule was mailed to each family detailing our schedule: places we were visiting with address & phone number information, family meal schedule, and free time allotted. I also sent directions from the airport to our home.

Each family was assigned a meal they were to buy groceries for, prepare the meal for the entire family, and clean up. Singles and families with very small children were assigned less complicated meals, such as breakfast or lunch. The assigned family was free to do whatever they desired to provide food for everyone. Some families ordered pizza brought in. We also had a few meals, where families “were on their own.” It worked great. Everyone was happy and it was not a burden on my family to provide and cook every meal.

Several months leading up to the reunion, we were busy doing projects such as painting and getting everything in order. We placed a lock on the gate to the pool to protect the little ones and placed valuables away from curious little hands.

A week or so, before they were scheduled to arrive, we bought bulk paper goods, including plates, cups, plastic silverware, napkins. We also bought extra toilet paper, shampoo, and soap. I borrowed tables, chairs, extra griddle, pack ‘n plays, high chairs, pillows, blankets, and sleeping bags.

Since our reunion was in the summer, we turned the thermostat a few degrees cooler and kept the fans running, so everyone would be comfortable. Everybody enjoyed the pool and we followed our tradition of having a family talent show with skits or whatever each family chose. It was fun to see what creative ideas each family came up with, including children playing the piano.

Once everyone arrived, I followed the advice of a friend and stopped trying to keep every nook & cranny clean! I mainly kept up with the kitchen and bathrooms. You will wear yourself out if you try to keep everything spic ‘n span with that many people in your home!

Since everyone traveled so far, our families stayed a week, but a great reunion can be planned over a weekend or however many days everyone decides on. We will truly cherish the memories of seeing our family members and enjoying fun times together. We are already planning for next year!

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Source by Evelyn Campbell

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