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Four tips on hosting a family reunion

This year, when we decided to have a family reunion for the first time in 12 years, we wanted to make sure everyone could participate in the daily activities and that the host (my aunt) could actually enjoy herself. My Aunt Sally is luckily not only a great party planner, but also a great delegator. Here are the four things that allowed us to have one of the best Stebbins get-togethers of all time, and I'd like to think, put us down for one of the top ten family reunions that took place this summer. Got one better? We'd like to hear what made it great. 1. Know your audience: Planning 'who stays where' eliminated the free-for-all chaos of who gets the best room and made sure my 85-year-old grandmother (with her new pair of knees) stayed on the first floor. My aunt also assigned the pair of young parents, with 8- and 10-month-old babies, to stay in the house that would be hosting the festivities each night. This way cocktail hour didn't turn into worrying about leaving and putting the kids to bed.

2. Family picture: When everyone arrived Friday night, we set out customized T-shirts with a note welcoming them to the Stebbins Family Reunion. The shirts came in all sizes (including onesies and men's double XL), but everyone matched. The goal was to get a killer group picture that would hopefully be framed and on everyone's wall by the end of summer. #FamilyClassic

3. Let the games begin: My husband and I were left in charge of planning the activities for the day on Saturday. Since we never do anything at 50% and the competitive spirit is part of the chemical makeup of the Stebbins family, we planned a family Olympics. From a super soaker timed challenge to a relay race followed by the grand finale - a winners take all kickball game - everyone joined the fun. (Though, next time we'll have to review the rules a little more clearly with Gram, the game officiator, since there were some heated debates on the finer points of each game.)

4. The end: Regardless of what life-stage each family member was in, everyone left feeling like they had been a part of something great, something that hopefully happens more often than every 12 years. We laughed, sang, danced, played and best of all, we got to watch the baby cousins meet each other for the first time.

Have you planned a family reunion? Share your tips.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']#[/author_image] [author_info]Katie McFate is the Creative Operations Manager at House Party. Her knack for party planning and dry wit makes her an elite addition to the House Party team. Katie is known for her melodic karaoke voice and famous or infamous (depending on who you ask) for her sangria. In her free time, she plays on a rec. volleyball team, Blood, Sweat & Beers. Katie's party tip: Go big or go home. [/author_info] [/author]

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