Q:

How can you have a successful family reunion?

A:

Having a successful family reunion is best accomplished through careful planning in advance to ensure guests of all ages feel welcome and have fun. A schedule, even a loose one, helps the chief planner stay organized and allows her to make sure that everyone has a good time.

Most families include members of all ages, from small children to senior citizens, and a successful family reunion includes everyone. While this sounds like a big task, planning well — and early — and keeping on schedule can ensure that everyone is involved and having fun.

Party plans should include ideas that everyone can enjoy, such as having matching T-shirts printed ahead of time, suggests Martha Stewart Living. Another idea is to provide everyone with a certificate to commemorate the day. Taking and printing a group photo for all the guests is another way the whole family can remember the special reunion.

Food is often a big part of any party, and a reunion is no exception. Planners should find out if there are any food allergies in the family and avoid preparing dishes with those ingredients. Cooks should carefully label dishes or avoid that ingredient all together.

Having a loose schedule can help the party stay on track. The schedule allows time for casual socialization, eating, games and any other desired activities.

Finally, Country Woman magazine suggests organizing committees or keeping it simple with a job jar that includes tasks from setting up to cleaning up, with everyone choosing one job to do.

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