Family Gatherings — Making Them Extra Special

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Anytime the family gets together is a special time, even with all the craziness that goes on. So why not kick it up a notch and make it a day that will live on and on and on?

I’m still recovering from a family day. We got together for my granddaughter’s birthday at my parent’s house. The cousins were all talking at the same time while mama and I tried to figure out how to put a giant take-n-bake pizza in the oven on a way-too-small pan. Daddy was trying to visit with my oldest son and everyone wanted something to drink in a hurry. Well, it was a hot day! It made me think about what I wished I had planned. Here’s what I came up with.

A Family Photo

In years past I’ve been pretty good about getting a group photo when all the gang gets together. I must confess, it’s been a while since we’ve had a family photo. I still look back on the group photos I’ve taken and I’m so thankful I have them. I tried to get photos of just all my ten grandkids together and then a big family photo of everyone who made it to the gathering. I’ve shared these photos so many times and all the distant relatives seem to love to see them when I post them on my family Facebook page. If you don’t have a family Facebook page — start one. They are so fun!

Share Favorite Recipes

I wish I would come prepared to share my grown kids’ favorite recipes. It would only take a little while to write them down and copy them on the printer. When my oldest son was first married, his new bride asked for my cornbread stuffing recipe. She had called on the phone and believe you me that was a long conversation. It would have been so much easier if I had just written it down so I could give it to all the kids. Wouldn’t it be fun to write down the family favorites and share them at a family gathering or perhaps post it to that family Facebook page you’ve put together?

A Printed Photo Swap

While I am usually the family photographer, my grown kids are now catching up with me. I think it would be wonderful for all of us to print out our favorite family photos and make enough copies to share with the other family members. Some of the photos I have are very, very old. I am going to make sure to have plenty of copies made to share with my kids and grandkids for our next family gathering. I’ll also make sure to include the names of the people in the photos and the relationships between us all. If I were really ambitious, I’d make a family photo tree so even the youngest family members could see who was who!

Written Thank You’s to Share

Now this would be a major coup if I could get all the family members to sit down and write thank you notes to one another! I think it would be so heartwarming to exchange thank you’s like, “Thank you mama for all the times you helped me when the kids were little” or “Thank you son for giving me your laptop when my computer crashed.” Hopefully your family members can think of better ones than these, but no matter how big or small the blessings we’ve been blessed with, a thank you will warm the heart of the one who blessed us. I think they should be read out loud to teach our youngsters the value of gratitude.

What family traditions do you enjoy at gatherings? We’d love to hear your ideas for making a Family Day one to really cherish!

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