My maternal family has a yearly family reunion. I have never been to one - for two reasons: 1) the time of year they hold them 2) I barely know my mother's family. That and I am very much not an outdoorsy person and they hold them at a campground.
I know my great aunts but have lost touch with my second cousins with whom I did spend a few summers when we were much much younger. This year I am in the area and can go, if I decide to. But still, I am hesitant. It is a weekend thing and a good 7 hour drive away. All the accommodations are filled so I'd have to get a hotel in the area. But it might be nice to reconnect with them and for them to meet my children and vice versa.
What are your experiences with family reunions? Are they worth the time and expense? Any advice?
I try to go every few years. I like to stay in touch with extended family and it's good to have that touchstone if the kids ever decide they want to remain in closer contact.
It's harder for us because of multiple food allergies and very food-centric events/families. We make it work.
Chasing DS since April 2007 and pumping for DD March 2013.
Ours is a large extended family thing. Lots of people, big campground, fun stuff I'm sure. And it would be nice to see aunts, uncles and cousins I haven't seen in ages. We'll probably go. Thanks for the encouragement.
My aunt has suggested we have our own smaller family reunion that focuses more on our closer family circle and she wants me to help her plan it for next year around a time we would be able to come and at a place we'd all enjoy. I like the idea myself but I have no idea where to begin. Have any of you planned and managed family reunions? Any suggestions?
We just do a picnic in the park though, not a whole weekend. It used to be a randomly chosen Sunday in December then moved to the second Sunday in December and last year moved to November so it didn't conflict so much with Christmas/end of school activities.
One person (usually my dad) emails everyone the proposed date(s) and, after a bit of back and forth, a final date is chosen. He then sends an email confirming the date, location and alternative wet weather location. This has all already happened for this year as lots of people need to travel. Closer to the time he'll probably send another reminder.
We haven't been for a few years due to travel costs and last year it was just when my second babe was due (this year it is on her birthday) but I love them and wish we could go every year.
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
Thanks for sharing katelove! Do you share the food assignments and bring things along? Cook there? I think that has been the biggest task for our family reunion. People bring sides but the main dish is cooked on site and is a big task.
Now, we have had numerous big huge camping trips with 8-15 families of friends and those are always amazing. So, to me, your famiky reunion sounds like a blast, even if you being a book and an ipod and spend most of the time relaxing or politely chatting here or there.
Everyone brings their own picnic lunch and usually a few people bring cake or a slice or something to share.
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
You could always go for the day but not spend the night.
As for food, we do it potluck style, but if you're camping and sharing several meals instead of just one, that might be tougher -- maybe have each family bring their own food, but plan to share the evening meal?
My husband's father's family meets every 2 years, and it is a big deal. These (grown) cousins were exceptionally close, and there are dozens of them. They were a lot of fun. However, because of the distance and number of people, they have in recent years been held at conference centers that cater to such things. The ones I've been to have been fun, however in recent years, they've been planning on some crazy places to meet (people take turns planning, usually 2 main people get votes, scout facilities, take payments, etc.). Last reunion they had a short cruise in the Bahamas. Nope, couldn't even afford the air fare, even if my idea of happiness had been crammed on a boat for days. This time we are discussing plans for next year. Someone nominated Las Vegas. In July? I don't think so. Cheap air fare, yes. I have a cousin in Vegas, so yes. There are some nice natural areas nearby, so yes, but July? Sorry. I spent 9 Julys growing up in that town and I will not set foot in that place May-September. The other suggestion was Tahoe. OK, but just getting to Tahoe would cost too much, let alone paying for the event. Grumble Grumble Grumble. We have a third choice, and I'm voting for that one, closer by, but the majority seems to want more "activities". Well, humph. I wish this family wasn't so big. The most fun we've had was when we saved some money and pitched a tent at the local state park campground and only ate meals and spent our days with the family.
His mom's family organizes a reunion every few years, and it's tents-in-the-backyard. Much more my pace. My family--no reunions.
Good luck. Reunions--big and small--can be fun. I just wish ours were less of a headache. And less expensive!
"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
Yeah, the distance and the duration are the big issues for me. I could go for the day but it's such a drive there and back that we'd have to stay the night and leave the next day anyway.
I would LOVE to do it in the spring or fall when the weather is much nicer. But it's a struggle with everyone's different schedules. I'd actually like to do it somewhere new each time so that we can also explore a new city or area.
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