Word n. News, information.
Says: "I love getting the mail. Its always bills, but that still
means that someone out there cares that Im alive. Its so comforting."
Once you select a date and a location, its
time for that big, no-turning-back-now step sending out the invitations. Once you
work up the nerve, make sure you send them out as soon as possible to give the guests a
fair amount of notice. You want to give everyone a chance to put the date on their
calendars, juggle their schedules, and plan their vacation time.
After youve tracked down addresses for everyone or as close as youre
going to get design and mail the invitations. Then, a few weeks before the reunion,
send something else out a small little reminder to each family. You know how they
are. Mister Spiffy is like that too.
You can use your computer to keep in touch with family, too if you werent
aware of that already. Your family newsletters, e-mail and online chats can help you keep
in touch with everyone out there on this stretching sweep of planetary mass until the next
This is normally the first exposure that your family
members have to the upcoming reunion. It may take them a moment to get over the
shock, so dont make it too surprising. Make it neat and interesting, clean and
orderly, to build up interest for the reunion. If necessary, mention that it is a
Mister-Spiffy-Authentic reunion that always gets the masses pouring in. You
can use any simple word processing program or paint program to make the invitations, but a
program specifically designed for this would probably make it a little easier. There
are lots of drawing programs out there Mister Spiffy has tested out most of them
and found a bunch of good ones that are designed to create cards, invitations, name
tags, certificates, and anything else you could possibly want for a family reunion. Here is a program that will print invitations,
name tags, certificates and other reunion related printouts. Use the invitation
as the first introduction to the theme youve chosen for the reunion. Even if
all you use is a word processor, Mister Spiffy suggests buying special decorated paper to
spice it up a bit.
The content of the invitation should be clear, and definitely include
- Date, time, and location of the reunion.
- Contact persons (in other words, "your") phone number and address.
Dont assume everyone has it if you had to hunt them down, they
probably dont know yours, either. Just presume that everyone is as unorganized
as you are.
- A description of the exciting upcoming event.
- Cost per person or family and what is included in the ticket price, if you are charging
admission fees. If any items are extra, be sure to state those and the cost.
- Payment procedure.
- A pre-addressed response card or form. If your family is on the "cheap"
side, you might want to put a stamp on it as well (and get those 33 cents back with the
- Directions on how to get to where the fun is.
- Mention if the guests should bring along any special clothing or equipment.
A few weeks before the reunion, Mister Spiffy always
appreciates it when he receives a small reminder about things that he had probably
forgotten. Include what the weather is likely to be, a synopsis of all the planned
reunion activities, and a list of items that guests should bring. If youre
doing a genealogical thing, Mister Spiffy says that each family should bring old
photographs and family heirlooms to display throughout the reunion. Always remember
a polite and sincere "Thanks for your interest, cant wait to see you at the
reunion" message at the end.
Keeping In Touch
In generations long past (like when Mister Spiffy was
a kid), most family members lived within only a few miles or even a few blocks of each
other. You were able (or perhaps forced) to interact with all of your extended family
daily. Today, thats not the case. Its not unusual for there to be hundreds of
miles between relatives and months between phone calls and letters. (Except Mister Spiffy
he writes to his dear old mother every week). Staying united as a family is
not easy. Your home computer can make keeping in touch a little bit easier.
Helpful Hints Mister Spiffy wishes to inform the
masses of fans he has out there that invitations are a very, very important first
impression. Theres not much else to say other than make them good, for the
- Invite your relatives who have computers to join in a family online chat.
- Send out a family newsletter several times a year.
- Create a family homepage, where you can post family pictures and information.
- Create a family directory, with names, addresses, birthdays, and pictures.