Idea n. A thought, conception or notion; a plan of action.
Says: "I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory."
Here are some ideas that can add that special something to your family reunion. Some of
these can be spontaneously done at the reunion, some need a little bit of planning before
the reunion, while others require a quite substantial amount of work. If you have any
other ideas that you would like to share with Mister Spiffy and the other people who visit
this page, let Mister Spiffy know. If
you're looking for ideas for activities or games, Mister Spiffy
says to click here.
Whether your reunion is large or small, it's nice to have a "Welcoming
address" to kick the thing off. It doesn't have to be long... 5 - 10 minutes
unless you have a really good speaker in the family. Here's a few things
you might put in a welcoming address...
- Welcome everyone to the reunion, and thank them for coming.
- Mention which different families (or family lines) are at the reunion.
- Give a general outline of the day's (or weekend's) festivities.
- Thank the people who helped put the reunion together.
- And of course, add a few well placed jokes or inspirational
Certificates and Awards
Create certificates to be passed out to family members. Use your imagination and
try to think up as many categories as possible, so that you can recognize the largest
amount of family members that you can. Possible recognition categories include these
- The oldest and youngest family members
- Who traveled the least and greatest distances to attend
- Who has attended the most consecutive reunions
- Youngest grandparents
- Couple with the most children or grandchildren
And now some of the categories Mister Spiffy came up with! He calls them "Mister
Spiffys Eccentric Awards."
- "Bizarre Gymnast" Award
who can do the most things with their tongue?
- "Balancing Act" Award
who can stand on their hands (or head) the longest
- "Historian" Award
for someone who takes pictures of people when they
least expect it
- "Get Up and Go" Award
the person who sleeps the latest, if its an
- "Fire Dragon" Award
whoa! What morning breath! (Actually,
it's probably not wise to award this one)
- "Plant Life" Award
that one family member that they have at every family
reunion who just sits there and watches everyone else have fun
- "Miss Universe" Award
that one girl who wakes up in the morning looking
perfect after two days of camping
A Family Recipe Book
Create a family recipe book using the favorite recipe
(or a few of them) from each family. Collect the recipes beforehand (it makes you look
organized, Mister Spiffy says) and put them into a word processor. You can include food
and family-related clipart to spice up the books look. Make sure you give
credit to all the contributors. Everyone likes to see their name in print, even when
the only people to see it will be their family. Print a copy of all the recipes and
take them to your local copy shop. They can put them together in a book format and
bind them for you. You might want to ask family members to chip in for the printing,
or take orders for the in advance to pay for it. Mister Spiffy says that you can pay
for it yourself, of course, but most people wouldnt prefer that.
If you have a genealogy
software program capable of automatically printing books of your
family (descendants of the main person, along with pictures, notes,
etc), print a book of your family
and make it available. If your program can print photos in the
book, ask family
members for a picture to scan in and include in the book. Have a marker available
for corrections and updates to the book for next years reunion (you know, babies and
Large Family Wall
One of the most popular items at many family reunions are the
family charts which show all the family members and how they are
related. They start with the ancestor and show all the cousins,
aunts, and uncles and other relatives attending the reunion, and lets
you see how everyone is hooked together. You can even add pictures
of family members (if you have them).
A family newsletter is a great way to keep in touch
with each other between reunions. It doesnt have to be a monthly thing, no, not at
all. Two or three times a year is plenty to keep everyone in touch. It
doesnt have to be long, and you can ask for a small donation to offset printing and
mailing. Ask family members to send you information, and use your own word processor to
write the newsletter. Heres a few of Mister Spiffys suggestions on what to
- Spotlight one of the family members
- Print a list of upcoming birthdays and anniversaries. You might want to leave the
year off for some of those over sensitive female relatives, or better yet, put in a year
that makes her younger, and you've got a new friend for life.
- Anniversaries of any particular event (next Wednesday marks the third anniversary of
when Little Billy fell down the hill and broke a rib)
- Print new addresses for families that have moved
- Memorial stories on family members who have recently passed away
Creating Family Newsletters
Family Reunion T-Shirts
own family reunion t-shirts. Have a creative family member create a design for
the reunion t-shirts. Many office supply or hobby stores sell thermal transfer
paper, which you can print designs on, and then iron onto a t-shirt. You can find
out when you send the invitations how many people want to buy a family reunion t-shirt,
and collect the funds with the ticket price. If you have the design already done,
send a copy of that design to help them make up their mind. Buy plain white cotton
t-shirts in bulk and figure their cost and the cost of the transfer paper. Or if you
don't want to do all the work yourself,
someone print family reunion t-shirts for you.
Buy a guest book (kind of like the ones at wedding receptions) for attendees to sign when
they arrive. In addition to their name, you might ask them to write their address
and phone number as well. Then, as the reunion winds down, ask them to enter a
comment about their favorite moment at the reunion ("When dad got dragged through the
mud during the tug of war"). Collect these books from each reunion, and have
them available for laughs at future reunions.
Use your computer to print out nametags for all the
attendees. In addition to the persons name, you could add the city and state
they live in. One fun thing to do if you have the time (and Mister Spiffy knows time
is hard to come by) is to also add the meaning of the
person's name. Hand the name tags out as the family members arrive at the
reunion. Or, if you want a little less work, just buy a big pack of stick-on
nametags and have people write their names (or nicknames can be fun) on there themselves.
As that creative name implies, a Family Directory
a directory of your family. Anyways, create a family directory to give as a
take-home gift to everyone who attends the reunion, or you can charge a small fee to cover
the cost of producing it. Use your home computer and a word processing program to create
List your family members names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail
addresses if they have one. You could also include their birth dates, ages, important
anniversaries (like Little Billys trip to the hill where he broke a rib), special
interests or hobbies, school information, pictures, and anything else you want to put in
that describes them. Dont forget to include college addresses, et cetera, for kids
who are living away at school.
Compile this information into a book format. Use the plastic binders that you can find
in the school supplies section of your favorite retailer to bind the information in a
cheap manner, or you can take it to your local quick print or copy shop. They can
reproduce as many copies as you need and attractively bind it with a variety of bindings
in different price ranges.
Scrapbooking is hot. After your family reunion is over,
have the creative person in the family put together a scrapbook of the reunion. Then
make copies of the scrapbook to send to people, or just bring the scrapbook to the next
reunion for folks to browse through. What should you put in the scrapbook?
Mister Spiffy thought you'd never ask.
- A synopsis of the reunion (there Mister Spiffy goes again with big words... he just
means a short overview of what everybody did at the reunion).
- Photos that were taken at the reunion (group photos, individual photos, photos of
activities, pictures of the location). If you have a scanner to scan these photos
in, it will be much easier to make copies for everybody.
- A record page for all those awards you passed out at the reunion (oldest and youngest
attendee, greatest distance, Fire Dragon, etc).
- A statistics page (how many people attended, how much food you went through, how long it
took the back lawn to recover)
To make a long story short... do the scrapbook thing above, but put it online for the
whole family to visit throughout the year. In addition, you can post information
about next years reunion. Mister Spiffy points out that when people see the photos
of last years reunion, it will remind them how much fun they had, and will influence their
decision to attend the next one.
Helpful Hints Just like the
activities, Mister Spiffy wants to make sure you know that you dont have to do any
or all of these ideas. These are just starters. In fact, he encourages you to use your
imagination. He urges you to think creatively and come up with some ideas of your own. If
you do, and they work out well, please send them
in to Mister Spiffy to help other people out.