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Enjoying a Family Reunion

Yes, it’s possible. Trust me. Even if you don’t really know your relatives. Or even if you do know them. Or even if your parents signed you up for the Family Reunion “talent” show without telling you and you had to wing it by dancing to TLC’s “Waterfalls.” (I know. It was terrible.)

What kinds of feelings run through your mind when you hear the words, "Family Reunion?” Maybe you feel a little anxiety and begin thinking of excuses valid enough to explain your inability to attend. Maybe it's not that you don't care about your extended family, but you don't want to sit through hours of awkward activities with people you don't really know, or haven't seen in ages. Maybe you also hate talent shows.

Or maybe you've seen this episode of The Generations Project so you know that a family reunion can actually be pretty great.

It's got everything you'd want out of a family reunion, right? Great food, great weather, line dancing, grandfathers with cool hats. . . I could go on.

(FYI - this clip is from Durrell's episode. It's a great one where he learns about his entrepreneurial roots.)

In any event, Durrell's successful family reunion has inspired us to compile a list of ways to make family reunions enjoyable. Ready?

1. Have each family compile family stories ahead of time. Bring multiple copies to be shared with others.

2. Have everyone bring 5 old photographs of the extended family. Bring a laptop and a scanner to save the files. Send out a link to a web album a week or two after the reunion. (Flickr is a good place to start).

3. Invite everyone to bring family recipes to share. Compile them into a book.

4. Bring a video camera. Make sure to interview the oldest members of the family. Ask them as many questions as you can about their life.

5. Have story time for the kids. Choose animated members of the family who can share fun family stories.

Any more ideas? What has made your family reunions not just tolerable, but fun?