Monday, August 1, 2011

Family Reunion #4

Moving to The Cove after nearly two decades on the lam put me within spitting distance (as we say in these parts) of all my relatives. The first summer we were here, my mom's entire family came over for a potluck lunch and we had such a great time that we decided to make it an annual event. We plan the weekend around the annual visit from my cousin Sheila and her boys who drive in from South Carolina each July.

There are 30 people in the family including all my aunts, uncles, cousins/spouses and their children.
We were missing Darryl, Diane, Kristi, Matt and Lindsay this year.

We always have a potluck lunch - spiral cut ham, green beans, Veg-All casserole, black eyes peas, fruit salad, pies - and then we spend the next 5-6 hours just "visiting".

This year, my mom's older brother, Uncle Bob, drew out the floorplan of the old house in the country where they all lived as children. (Mom was born there in 1940 and the house burned down in 1943 prompting her dad to leave farming to join the war effort in the shipyards.) Uncle Bob, Aunt Betty, Aunt Ginny and my mom had a lot of fun reminiscing...

Tips for planning a successful family reunion:
  • Define the scope of who is invited, e.g. all the offspring of Grandma Taylor
  • Set the date 4+ months in advance and send out a "save the date" email
  • Choose a location that's reasonably easy to reach and allows everyone to linger for as long as they like
  • Send a printed invitation or reminder email 2-3 weeks before the event
  • Make it a pot luck dinner (also known as a covered dish dinner) where everyone brings a dish and you set up an impromptu buffet line
  • Do not try to engineer who will bring what food - with a large group it will all sort itself out
  • As host/hostess, provide the meat, drinks, cups, plates, napkins, utensils and serving pieces + be sure to have cling wrap and aluminum foil on hand
  • If the reunion is in your home, borrow folding tables and chairs from your neighbors to ensure all the adults have a place to sit
  • Set out placecards to reserve seats for special guests, e.g. Nana and her siblings (I forgot this year!)
  • Ensure everyone feels at home so  you can relax and have fun - no need to play "hostess" with your own family


  1. Love, love this post!. Thanks Kim and Bryan for hosting the event that "us cousins" really want to come to! Me & J had a great time.

  2. Thanks again for hosting our clan! It was so much fun to see everyone! I can't believe how much the teenagers have grown! And they are so cute!:) Mom/Nana/Mina/Sis/Aunt M


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