Family Time: How to host a family reunion, potluck-style

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tip of the Week

A family reunion can be one of your extended family's most memorable shared experiences, providing new family stories and deepening bonds for years to come. If you are in the coordinator's seat, it can also be a daunting amount of work. With a bit of advice from the experts on planning, delegation and, the centerpiece of any family gathering, food and drink, it can be a bit easier. Here are a few tips to help make your reunion a family affair to remember -- fondly.

- While you should still plan to use snail mail and phone for invitations and follow-up, especially for family members who aren't online, the Internet provides a wealth of resources to make planning a family reunion easier and more interactive. Edith Wagner, founder and editor of Reunions magazine, recommends taking advantage of online tools. "Reunion websites can keep everyone posted with dates, photos, updates and more. These are a great way to get everyone excited and anticipating the big day, as well as to organize folks to help with planning," she says. Many sites are free. A few options to check out are, and

- Potlucks are a wonderful and cost-effective way to engage guests, divide the work load and make your reunion a true bonding experience. Organize the potluck menu by category (appetizers, mains, sides and desserts) and delegate preparation, encouraging guests to make recipes from popular family recipes where possible. offers a complete guide to hosting a family reunion including potluck planning and even allows you to create an online recipe box for sharing recipes with family and friends. Sample potluck tips include outlining a menu and assigning guests specific dishes and quantities; instead of asking for an appetizer, be specific: ask for 20 deviled eggs, for example. This prevents multiple people from bringing the same item or having too little or too much food.


Family Screening Room

“Step Up 3D”

Rated: PG-13 (for brief strong language)

Length: 107 minutes

Synopsis: A tight-knit group of New York City street dancers, including Luke (Malambri) and Natalie (Vinson), team up with NYU freshman Moose (Sevani) and find themselves pitted against the world's best hip hop dancers in a high-stakes showdown that will change their lives forever.

Violence/scary rating: 2.5

Sexual-content rating: 2

Profanity rating: 2.5

Drugs/alcohol rating: 1

Family Time rating: 2.5. This is a decent family flick, and the kids will love all the dance moves.

(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)

Book Report

“Giraffes Can't Dance,” by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees (illustrator)

Ages: For infants or children in preschool

Pages: 32

Synopsis: Gerald the giraffe longs to dance, but his legs are too skinny and his neck is too long. At the Jungle Dance, the warthogs waltz, the chimps cha-cha and the lions tango. "Giraffes can't dance," they all jeer when it's Gerald's turn to prance. But with some sound advice from a wise cricket, Gerald starts swaying to his own sweet tune.

Did You Know

According to new research from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, if you have a miscarriage, it’s beneficial to try again within six months.

GateHouse News Service