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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    A:

    Some party games for a class reunion might include imitation competitions of past teachers; "Pin the Glasses on the Teacher," where participants stick glasses onto a photograph of their favorite teacher; and karaoke, where participants sing songs from the era of their graduation. All of these games should help to break the ice and remind guests of their schooldays.

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    A family reunion welcome letter should focus on gaining the family members' attention, presenting pertinent information and requesting any needed help or services. The specific tone of the letter itself will vary by family and by writer.

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