9 things to do to make your party or get-together memorable


Families, groups, and organizations can curate their stories on their own websites, create their own books through websites such as Legacy Books and Storyworth, or be interviewed by professional ghostwriters at Story Terrace. For the remembrance of a year-long family reunion, Jordon created historic postcards containing photos of ancestors, an 1867 marriage certificate, an 1870 census, and a bill of sale for slaves. It costs less than $75 using an online printer.

8. Give rewards.

Hand out trophies or certificates recognizing people’s accomplishments, such as wearing the most theme-worthy outfit, performing the most impressive dance moves, or getting promoted at work. When Roby’s family gathers next year for their reunion, they plan to present legacy awards to family members following in the footsteps of deceased relatives, such as top athlete or most generous person.

9. Organize a raffle.

Who doesn’t love winning a prize? At their family reunion this summer, the Roby family raffled off several themed baskets made by Roby’s niece, Linda. The barbecue basket, for example, included several sauces and spices, an apron and more. Proceeds from raffles can go to a favorite charity or relative in need or be used to fund a future family reunion.

Sheryl Jean is a writer who covers aging, business, technology, travel, health, and human interest stories. A former reporter for several metropolitan dailies, she also wrote for the Chicago Grandstand and The Dallas Morning News as well as the American Heart Association website.​

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