Family Fun Frenzy

Before Hurricane Katrina, my family lived within thirty minutes of each other. By family, I mean immediate family and then grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. Now, I live an hour and a half from my parents, who live at least an hour from my mom's parents. My cousins are the same and my brother is now two hours from me. Back then, we would have family dinners once a week on Tuesdays. My grandmother would cook a three course meal, and we would all show up, eat, and hang out.

Well, it's not so easy to get together except for holidays. I was only seeing my extended family twice a year, if I was lucky. One thing was clear: Everyone wanted family dinners reinstated. However, once a week wasn't practical anymore, and my grandmother cooking for the size we've grown to was asking too much.

What we came up with was the perfect solution. Once a month, we would get together. It would always be the second Saturday of the month--no matter what. That way, you never have to guess. You can plan around it, or if you have something to do, you miss it for that month. Easy. Since July of 2011, we have met once a month. Our circle grows to incorporate many families and friends. Some months we were only eight. A few months we were twenty or more. 

How it works:

  1. Once a month, everyone who has come to a dinner gets a text message from me. I do have to call my grandparents, because they don't know the first thing about text messaging. But I don't mind that part one bit. :o)
    • The text reads:

               FAMILY FUN FRENZY
               When: Saturday, April 14
               Time: 6:30 pm
               Where: The Rum House
               3128 Magazine Street  
               New Orleans, LA 70115

               This months picked brought to you by ----------. 
               Birthdays in April are ------ and -------.
               Let me know if you can come. Place does not take 
               reservations, so please be on time.

  2. Now, the rules of how to pick are simple. It can be anywhere and any time of day, as long as it is on the second Saturday of the month. We chose the second Saturday, because it seems to be the weekend that least interferes with holidays. For some reason, whoever is picking for the month has always picked New Orleans and it's been a restaurant. But, certainly, it can be anywhere and any time. I'm waiting for my next pick because I would love to do the zoo for the day. :o) (You can make it a 5 star restaurant or in another city. My rule of thumb is if you can't go or don't want to, then don't go.)
  3. Who gets to pick. That can be tricky. Being that it's our first year. I've been trying to let it go to first whoever has a birthday that month, and then who is the oldest. That will change, and it's easier when everyone decides before we leave dinner.
Warning: If you implement these ideas in your family, you may experience more togetherness and more fun in your family. 

Let me know if you have something like this or start this in your own family. How is it working for y'all?

Lots of Love,

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