Tis the season for family reunions! Summer time encourages a lot of things, like road trips and beach vacations, but it also seems to be a time for families to come together. Every year, usually sometime in July, my father’s side of the family picks a weekend for a reunion. Over the years, we have come up with a nice little rotation between various family members’ houses of where the reunion will be. For that weekend that house becomes a jungle of luggage, air mattresses and cots; by day the couches are a place to sit and by night they are a place to sleep. Even with the cramped quarters, the reunions never cease to be an interestingly fun adventure.
No matter if the reunion is a weekend long or a week long, there is a lot of planning that goes into an event like this. Aside from getting your house cleaned and prepared for all the guests to arrive (my reunions usually have about 35 people!), the most important thing is to have some kind of menu planned out. It is even more important to make sure this menu is simple and easy to fix, at least for breakfast and dinner. The last time a reunion was at my parents’ house my mom fixed breakfast casseroles for breakfast. Only needing a few ingredients (eggs, cheese, potatoes, sausage, bread), they are easy to whip together and do not take long in the oven. It was a big hit, something everyone could enjoy. Pancakes also show up a lot for breakfast during reunions, another easy favorite. For dinner, it can be as simple as firing up the grill and throwing some hotdogs and hamburgers on the flames. We have even made taco potatoes, another relatively simple meal for large groups. Just bake some potatoes, brown some ground beef and add taco toppings. It is always good to have snacks for the in between times, and sandwich making supplies for lunch.
My family reunions have never ventured outside of the weekend time frame or our rotation between houses, so we have not really had to plan activities for the weekend. On occasion, we have had access to the beach or a trip to Gatlinburg, TN, even a backyard swimming pool, but otherwise we are all camped out at the house for the majority of the time. Our entertainment is in the form of conversation, and endless hours of board games and card games. Most of the time it is a never-ending game of Scrabble, hours of Canasta, and rounds of games like Scategories and Phase 10. For the most part, these things do the trick at keeping us all entertained for the short time we are together. For family reunions that are longer, planning more activities to keep everyone occupied should be a big part of getting ready. I am not sure how long the board games would hold out over the span of a week.
I have always been excited about the family reunions. It is great to get to be with family I do not normally see on a regular basis. Even if it is just spending the entire weekend inside someone’s house, the fact is we all get to be with family. The weekends are always full of laughter, creating memories, and playing lots and lots of board games.
If the family reunion is a bit bigger and longer, here are some tips that might help with the planning.