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Monday, June 23, 2008

Planning a Family Reunion

Planning a Family Reunion the Easy Way
Summertime's almost upon us, and around our house that means it's time for the annual gathering with all relatives near and far! Unfortunately, all the hard work of planning a family reunion has fallen to me this year. With grandparents, four uncles and their four spouses, and eighteen (that's right, eighteen!) cousins, it's a job for an army. But there's only one of me, so I need all the help I can get.
The first hurdle with planning a family reunion has always been where to go. When you've got relations in Colorado, North Carolina, Missouri, Utah, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Florida, there's really no such thing as a convenient spot! In an effort to keep any one group from having to travel forever, we chose a beautiful spot in the hills of Kentucky.
I was relieved to find that there are actually websites designed to help poor saps like me who are trying to keep six families happy! I found all sorts of information designed to help me plan our event from start to finish. My first great find was free software specifically designed to help in planning a family reunion. I downloaded timetables, checklists of things to bring, ideas for icebreakers and games, and all sorts of random tips for making our gathering special. The program also helped me with important details like invitations, choosing our lodging, deciding on how meals would be served, and coming up with a budget everyone could live with.
I have to admit that sorting out the logistics was tough. But now that we've got our dates and our destination set, I can focus on the fun part! I found special t-shirts online that we could buy pre-made or custom design for every person attending the gathering. The best part is that they're just $5, and the shipping is free. I also found sites where you can order photo buttons, custom invitations, and goofy party favors that have everyone's pictures on them. I didn't think planning a family reunion could actually offer a little retail therapy!
One of the great fringe benefits of being the one in charge of planning a family reunion has been setting up our own special website. It's been a clearinghouse of information for the families, and we've actually had a great opportunity to get to know each other even better as our plans were being formed. It's been a lot of hard work, but now that the big event is almost here I am completely excited, and I think it's going to be a terrific time. Who knew planning a family reunion could actually turn out to be a blast?

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