Three keys to a great family reunion

My parents are very deliberate parents. They choose to have nine children and worked hard to raise us to be best friends. And now we live all over the country but crave each others’ company and really want our children to know and love each other. So yearly family reunions are a high priority for all of us.

When we were young, we got together for several days each summer with my cousins and aunts and uncles at my parents’ little two-room cabin near a lake. Everyone brought tents and trailers, and we had a great time playing in the water, catching lizards and putting on talent shows. Then as my siblings and cousins started getting married and our numbers swelled, we started gathering with just my siblings and our spouses and children at a larger cabin my parents built by the lake. We gradually evolved from my parents taking the lead with planning the activities and agenda for the reunion (lots of meetings involved – my dad sure likes meetings) to each sibling and their spouse taking a turn doing the planning (lots more games involved …). We also evolved from a full-week reunion to a more manageable four-day reunion (usually a Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday) with an “open house” period before and after the actual reunion when those who are available can come and spend extra time together.

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