Guest n. One who is afforded
hospitality or entertainment in anothers home or business establishment as a friend,
visitor, patron, client, or family member gratuitously.
Says: "I love having guests over at my house. My home would be a
disaster area if it werent for guests that offer to pay me back by cleaning my
bathroom or kitchen."
Creating the Guest List
One of your first tasks (just underneath that doozy of
organization) is to decide whom you want to include in your family reunion. Do you want to
invite all the descendants of your great-great-great grandparents (which could easily
number as hundreds of people, as in Mister Spiffys case), or just your immediate
family? Just how many can you track down in how long an amount of time?
The number of people on your guest list will be a
factor in many of your other early decisions, such as reunion location or the size of
facility youll be needing. How many people will you need to pay for, and how much do
you need from each person or family? In general, if the crowd is big, youll
need more planning time and have more advance preparations to make. Also, you should
try to get the reunion somewhere in the middle of the large spanning area of your family.
Maybe the real question is, how many people are you willing to serve for?
Begin by making a list of people to invite. Just contact the people that
you already have addresses or phone numbers for. Ask for the names, addresses, and phone
numbers of the people youre missing.
Its very, very important to know approximately how many people and
families you can count on to attend your reunion. If your proposed guest list
is short, you can find this out with a few quick phone calls. Unless, of course, your
relatives are talkative. Then it might take several hours. If your guest list is very
long, Mister Spiffy says you may want to send out a survey mailer to inform everybody that
a would-be family reunion is in the works. Include with this mailer a suggested,
projected date, proposed reunion type, general iffy location, and possible
costs. Ask in a very courteous and polite manner for your relatives to
kindly send back responses indicating who would like to come so you can get a general idea
of who you have to provide for. Youll also get an idea of what type of reunion
they mostly want. With this important information you can go find and reserve an
appropriate facility and get everything else planned out and ready.
Tracking Down the Lost
If youre lucky which Im not saying
you are you already have a lot of your family members addresses in an address
book or on the computer somewhere. That way its just so much easier. You can use
your computer to type up mailing labels for invitations, newsletters, mailers, various
information packets, et cetera, et cetera.
If you arent so lucky the category most of us fall into, including Mister
Spiffy its time to start shining up those rusty gut instincts of yours and
track down the rest of your pack. Talk to your close family first, asking for the ones you
dont know. For those of you whom are having difficulties with your memory
recall, close family would be parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles.
Start collecting and compiling names and addresses of those previously lost family
members. Make sure you keep track of all your gains, or all your efforts were
worthless. The best idea would be to put them in a computer program specifically designed
to organize and manage these address, phone number, and/or name lists. Mister Spiffy
wishes to inform you that keeping it up-to-date will help you avoid wasting all those
thirty-three cent postage stamps by sending things to old addresses. It doesnt
seem like much, I know, but it adds up over the years.
If there are relatives you still dont have addresses for (or that you only
have a partial address for), use the search form on this page. You have to know at
least their last name to use it, but if you don't even know their last name, you probably
don't need to invite them.
And finally, add your reunion to the Family
Reunion Registry and you might even find a few relatives you didn't even know existed.
Helpful Hints If you have a
family member who doesnt like you (i.e., is holding a grudge for not getting invited
to something), send them an invitation anyway. Mister Spiffy is an expert at healing souls
through family reunions, and he knows. If they dont come, then its their turn
to try to fix things between you. Thats one less burden on your shoulders.