This weekend we had just our first Family Gathering since 2005. Back in the day it was organized, just like all the previous Family Gatherings, by my Uncle who passed away a few years after that last meeting. For twelve years we did not meet in such a way again until my cousin (daughter of my uncle) decided to change this and started contacting us last autumn.
First of all it started with a simple family group chat on WhatsApp and from then on the planning progressed quickly (Even my 75 year old father is in that group). The destination for the gathering was found in short time as it was the same place the family had met before. In my case I was around ten years of age when I was there for the first and only time. Back then the group was much smaller as none of the many cousins had children. Even at our last gathering in 2005 there were still many children not yet born. For this meeting we had ten kids making it a total of 21 family members at this gathering. This is the “close” family we have here in Germany. I doubt we would ever manage to plan a Gathering for the entire family as it could easily reach up to 150 people or more.
The little village called Tönning was our meeting place right by the North Sea. It is a fairly small village with just 5000 inhabitants. Due to its location it was an important sea port till the end of the 19th century. Then the Kiel Canal was built which made the route via the Eider river obsolete. These days the historical port is a tourist destination with lovely old houses which have been transformed into restaurants and hotels. Just few minutes from our hotel is the Multimar Wattforum which is an information center for the Wadden Sea National Park. This place is just great for kids as they can learn everything about the Wadden Sea from the tides over the important work of the many different worms to the big sharks and wales living in the North Sea. I’d say we all enjoyed the time spent there and it was just so fascinating to see what animals are all living there.
Later that day we all had a lovely dinner together which lasted until the late evening hours. All in all it was a wonderful time and so great to see all of my cousins again. Especially Nathan had a great time with so many other kids around playing with him. By the end he was so exhausted that he started to fall asleep while sitting at the dinner table. Even my late Uncle was present at the dinner in form of a picture one of his daughters had brought with her portraying him with a big small and raising a pint. The good thing about our close family is that we all live in the same State and that from my hometown (which is right in the middle of the State) it is to each one of my cousins it just take a bit over one hour by car. Now I just hope that we will be able to organize such gathering again in the near future and not to wait another twelve years. We have high hopes to have such meeting again perhaps next year!
Do you have family gatherings?
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18 thoughts on “Family Gathering”
Our family gatherings occur at weddings. And with a broken/ shattered family like mine, I only get to see all of my immediate family if one of my full siblings gets married. I think it’s sad until an actual wedding and then I think I need a few years to recover. 🙂
At this gathering we had all of us cousins were either the offsprings of my father or his brother however all from different marriages. I think both my father and his brother were married three times.
Sadly I was never able to attend any marriages of my family as back in the day I was living in the dark regions of east Germany busy with high school and my sports.
It sounded like a very easily family gathering and wasn’t too hard to organize after a few chats 😊 I am guessing you are also in the group photo too, finally. These days it is hard for my family to come together since we all live on different countries and some of us can’t stand each other, lol. Pretty expensive to fly from one side of the world to the other from the different continents 😂
Well it was some big planning for my cousin as she did all the calling and organizing but it all paid of. I really do hope to have another meeting next year again.
Oh and yes I am also in the picture on the very left next to my father and mother.
In China it is similar with my wife’s family. They all can’t stand MIL and thus that part of the family is never invited :p
We do have family reunions every now and then. I think the last one was six or seven years ago. We had a potluck in the park. It was fun, and we always say we should get together more often. It’s never the whole family, though. My kids, for example, live in other states, two of them, thousands of miles away.
We have pretty much luck here as Germany is so much smaller and especially as this close branch of the family all lives in the same state. However withthe bigger family it is also harder as they are spread all over Germany by now
The first time I’ve been to Holland was also the time that my father-in-law and his brother had a HUGE family gathering, mainly celebrating his retirement. It was overwhelming, I only know 6 people among the 60+ people who were there, let alone their names.
I love family gatherings, it’s a happy event but also stressful.
When I was around 6-7 years old we also had a big meeting when my father’s uncle turned 75 so he invited 75 family members:)
What a lovely family gathering. How special.
I always read how some people dread family meetings (even my barber told me the previous day how she hates them) but for us it was a really nice experience after so long time
Wonderful CCF. That family gathering will be long remembered and of course, many photos treasured. Well, super big family gatherings tend to be for weddings and funerals. That’s just relatives in Ontario and us in western Canada.
We also have relatives in China and California.. so that’s impossible.
In Metro Toronto, I have 70 relatives, including their spouses and children of course. With my immediate family it’s just a little over 20 people. So the latter, I see when I go to Toronto which is……over 4,000 km.east of me. ;(
For us we don’t went meet at funerals or weddings when it comes to the big family as simply the contact information from all the people are missing/ no one bothered trying to keep contact. I tried the previous years to get some family tree done but too much information was lost in the war and some of us don’t even know how we are related (different family names )
Looks great to have all the family together! For me, its much harder with all the family living in South Africa while I am in London…
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I know what you mean with the distance. Half of my family lives in Finland and my wife has it even harder as all her relatives are living either in China or in Japan!