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How To Have A Fun Family Reunion

My Dad's family has a reunion every other year and it is always a fun event.  Let's face it though, some of the family reunions I've attended in the long past were pretty boring, but my dad's siblings have been doing this for a long time and they have gotten really good at it.


First, don't be afraid to spend time with the older folks.  They usually have great stories to tell. This is my aunt, shes' 92 years old and is so fun to visit with. Do you know she grew up before TV was invented?  What did she do for fun?


Take special note of the family history chart above and to the right. This was made by one of my other aunts.  She has traced our family clear back to the 1500's and beyond. I know for some, family history can be pretty boring, but just imagine what was going on in the 1500's!  Interested in starting your own family history?  It doesn't have to be difficult or time consuming. Click HERE to learn how to get started.


Next add some fun! This is a water balloon toss.  Great way to cool off without getting drenched.


Food can be a big project at family reunions, but once again my aunts and uncle have discovered that letting everyone bring their own meal is the simplest way to go.  This year the kids and I did Subway Sandwiches. 


Now for the funnest event at the reunion.  Every reunion costs $$$. To help with the cost of paying for the pavilion and other misc., we organize and hold an auction.  People bring unwanted items still in good condition or handmade items to be auctioned off.  


The auction is handled in an easy way.  Everyone spreads their stuff out on the tables and a zip bag is attached to each item.  Then we buy tickets at .25 each, put our name on the back of the tickets and slip them into the zip bags attached to the items we want to win. 


 Some of my relatives go crazy with the tickets and spend $20 or more. It's great fun to see which items get the most tickets.  This year, my 16 year old daughter and her cousin were competing with 2 other teenage cousins for a set of matching sweaters.  It turned into quite a comedy watching them beg for more $ to buy more tickets to put in the zip bags next to the sweaters.  I think that they pretty much paid for the pavilion rental...lol


Here are some of the handmade items I bid for. 


















After all the tickets are placed, a team of relatives empty each zip bag of all the tickets but one. The remaining ticket is the winner for that item.  Once all the winners have been chosen, we go around and collect our winnings. This is what I won...I ♥ these kind of wash rags.


 ...just remember, even though there's lots of noise and commotion, it is possible to catch a bit of a nap at family reunions!


This reunion all my living siblings were there...we're quite the crew! To think that I grew up with these kids and we still love each other...ha! (My sister in the yellow shirt is going on an 18 month mission with her husband pretty soon, so I'll be posting about our annual sister party in the near future!)
As you can see reunions don't have to be a lot of work or boring if you get the right ingredients together and just let the fun flow!


Do you have family reunions?  I'd really like to hear what has worked or not worked for you, because next year I'm in charge of the reunion for my siblings and their families...

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26 comments:

  1. Becky what great ideas for a reunion - or any gathering! My extended family is so spread out that I don't know if we'll ever have a large reunion again. Last one was about 15 yrs ago and yes, kind of boring. I love our family history and the stories. Tahnks for sharing! Nan
    www.PlayfulDecor.blogspot.com

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  2. Looks good to me. Glad you had fun.

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  3. What FUN!! I love family reunions. Oh the memories and stories :) I haven't been back home (NY) since my son was 2 so about 8 years since seeing pretty much all my family :( I miss them dearly, if we ever make it back there, I'd love to get both sides together for a gigantic reunion! Since I'm in CA it's not easy though, but I do look forward to the hope of it ;-)

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  4. I actually love family reunions...I've gone to all different kinds, some more organized than the others, but what I really think is important is spending time together. Hearing stories is my favorite part!

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  5. We also do a family reunion every October. Our turn to host comes up again in 2013, so I've already been working on ideas too. We also fund our reunion with a silent auction which is the most fun part. Each family is asked to bring an item for the auction. It's fun to see what the hot item is each year. We've raised a lot of money with novelty items that only mean something to the family. For example, I paid $50 for an old snuff jar that belonged to one of my husband's great uncles. We also make a good amount on home canned items like pickles. Some cousins have bid as much as $100 for their favorite pickles made by one of their aunts. We always have horse shoe tournaments and domino tournament. Next year I'm hoping to add a games component for the kids. I love your water balloon toss. I'm also thinking of old style sack races.

    I have a family reunion pinboard on Pinterest. Check it out at https://pinterest.com/grams/family-reunion-ideas/

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  6. The auction idea is fantastic! I confess that my reunion for one side of the family was this past weekend. I didn't go this time because last time I went there was someone who said some really mean things about someone I love dearly. I didn't really want to see him again. Maybe next year.

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  7. Your reunion sounds os fun. We have not had one in a while. My aunt has put our family tree together. I think it is so awesome to have an idea of ones family history!

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  8. Wow, what great pictures. I remember only one reunion from my past, when my dad's parents celebrated their 50th anniversary.

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  9. Gosh I haven't been to one in a LONG time but they were always so much fun! I like the auction idea - we've never done anything like that!

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  10. I wish we had family reunions, for as long as I can remember we always plan to get together, but things never seem to come together.
    I love the idea of an auction to help with expenses! Congratulations on winning the knitted wash clothes. My sister knits them and I crochet them...I love how well they hold up. You look great by the way!

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  11. What a lovely "Family" and reunion you seem to have had. This was an awesome post! I loved the photos capturing the varied events of the day and especially the smiles. ~Big hugs, xoxo

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  12. Oh I love that auction idea! I have never heard of that before, but oh goodness that would definitely help out, and I know quite a few members of my family that can make some pretty amazing items!

    I would have bid on those rags too!

    we recently just had a small family reunion, just my siblings and my parents. We did a potluck lunch, where we all supplied our own sandwiches and drinks, (main meal) and then we all brought a potluck side to share. It works out really well that way.

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  13. It is always fun to attend family reunions just to keep up on what is going on in everyone's lives and to see the new babies. I don't get to attend very many because of the distance but I've always enjoyed attending when I can.

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  14. Wow, you have a really big family! That looks like allot of fun, and the auction is a cool idea, assuming you had enough people to do that.

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  15. What a wonderful time-- I know on my mothers side there is a reunion-her fathers family, but we've never gone--we hardly know that side of the family. This year the e-mail went out and one of the Great Aunts is 100!!! I'm sure there's some wonderful family history there.

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  16. What a fun family reunion you had. I want to be in your family so I can have fun too!!!.

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  17. What great fun! We had ours, and there was always a talent show, which meant some of it was really about the talent, and a lot of it was very Gong Show...a lot of fun:)

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  18. This is so great! I miss family reunions. I came from a big familly (and relatives) and I just miss all of them. It's hard to be oceans away. I love how your family is handling reunions. Here, my husband's family and relatives normally have reunions on July of every year (pretty soon now!) and there are not many of them. It is very simple as they just do it in an old house in the camp and my mother-in-law and her sister takes care of all the food. Starting last year though, I have shared some desserts and it was a huge hit... so I am doin the same for this year :-D There are no games though as there are not much youngsters in the family anymore.. oh well, there's music and dance anyways so still fun!

    Spanish Pinay

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  19. My family has a big reunion almost exactly like this every year. I haven't been able to get back to Idaho for one of them in a long time though. Reading this made me miss everyone so much. So glad you had a nice time. The weather looked perfect for your event! :)

    Blessings friend!!
    ~Rosann

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  20. Oh, what fun. No, we don't have family reunions....very sad!!! HOPE you have a great 4th of July!

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  21. You have a seriously cool and fun family! :)

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  22. What fun!! I love all of your ideas. It looks like such fun and what a great idea with the auction!! Your family rocks!

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  23. Dearest Becky Jane,

    One day I so want to do family history; back to the 1500's, WOW!!!! Recently I recorded my aunt's life story. She is in her 80's and will not be here much longer as her health is failing.

    I wish I knew how to make my family get together with siblings and family more fun. I want to do family history with them.

    Love Your Friend,

    Tina

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  24. Making family albums can be so much, especially with so much history and traditions, in each family. Blessings to your aunt - she looks great! Wish family reunions could be easier for those that live far away. Perhaps, we can call it cyber-family-reunion via the Internet. hahaha :)
    Happy 4th of July!!!

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  25. Looks like you all know how to have a good time. I love those wash cloths. I use those myself!

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