Last weekend was my annual family reunion. For as far back as I can remember, our family reunions have been mostly about eating and chatting. This year I decided to help with the planning and come up with some fun additions to the day.
One of my ideas was to email a postcard to everyone in advance, not just as an invitation, but also to ask for people to contribute recipes for a “family cookbook”. Some mailed ahead of time, others brought recipes with to the reunion. When I sat down to put the cookbook together, I decided to put each person’s recipe along with an old picture of them…. I’m still working on the cookbook – and will post a “how to” later, but here’s my cover design along with an idea of what an inside page will look like….
The cover photo is of my great grandmother holding a potato from her garden. Since the relative list at the reunion includes all of her children, their children and grandchildren (and a few great-grandchildren) I thought it would be a fitting photo. My great grandma Eunice has been gone a long time, but my grandmother had some of her recipes to share and so I scattered those throughout the cookbook as well. Being the editor I am, I had a hard time sticking to inputting the recipes just as people wrote them, but I did!
The next thing on the agenda was to set up a photo booth area (okay, that’s not new – I did that last year, too). Luckily I kept the “Reunion” banner from last year, so I just draped a long cloth across an expanse of wall and tacked the banner up with some thumb-tacks, creating an “area” for group photos.
My grandmother, mother and some of my great aunts gathered up old pictures to have sitting around so people could look at them, identify some people and also make notes of which they’d like copies of….
I decided to work up some additional entertainment, so I came up with a game, titled “When I was a Kid”… I tried to explain this game to my husband and he was thoroughly confused. Hopefully, I can explain it better in writing….
So I figured a fun way to get a conversation started would be to come up with a game in which each person had to fill out a slip of paper that gave a little information about what their favorite things were when they were a kid… I gave each person a slip and a pen and asked them to fill it out and include their name (most followed directions, even). ***I said that with a laugh*** The questions were, for example, “My favorite indoor activity was?”, “My favorite outdoor activity was?”, “My favorite game was?”……
After the sheets were filled out, I gathered them, then grabbed a cousin and took a place at the front of the crowd to start the game (the cousin was to keep score). I read questions off, starting with number one “My favorite tv show was?” Then I randomly drew some cards and read their answers and the audience had to guess who said that…. so I’d read “My favorite tv show was…? What’s T.V.” (someone in the crowd would yell) Eleanor! I read around five random answers for each question. Now, the cousin who was scorekeeping wrote down the names of all of the people who answered correctly. At the end of the game, while I read a couple of cards that people (silly people) had answered in an amusing (and incorrect) way, my cousin figured out who had guessed the cards the most. We picked the top three correct guessers to be the recipients of some awards I made and printed out at home.
Then we announced the winners of the “Know-It-All” game… (that’s also what the award said in big letters across the front of a shining star”…. announcing the first, second and third place “Know-It-All’s” was also amusing to the crowd!
Even the young kids participated in the game – My firstborn took fourth place …. a proud moment for his mama *tear….(Just kidding, it wasn’t that big a moment, but I did feel a competitive little glint of glee that he was so astute.)
The game was definitely a hit and gave everyone something to laugh about… a lot… and not just at my feeble attempt at MC’ing… (Just kidding… I was pretty good at it.)