Thursday, May 2, 2013

Aunt B’s 1st Annual Nieces’ Night Out

I’m excited that we have moved closer to many of my nieces.  I’ve been away for so many years that I’ve missed out on a lot in their lives.  The reality of everyone’s busy life tells me, though, that living closer doesn’t necessarily mean being more closely connected.  So… I’ve decided to hold an annual “Aunt B’s Nieces’ Night Out!”

·        To build forever friendships with and among my nieces.
·        To leave a legacy and make memories that will last for generations of nieces to come.
·        To have lots of fun, good food and most importantly fellowship.

Who will I invited:  Nieces, wanna-be nieces (engaged to one of my nephews), honorary nieces (married to one of my nephews), great-nieces and great-great nieces.

First year’s theme: “All in the Family”.

While I’m still having fun planning, I’m considering:

§                                 Interview Game - Pair up each guest with the person they know the least.  Give each person a list of personal family questions, such as how many children do you have, what type of work do you do, favorite family vacation spot, and most embarrassing family nickname.  Have each person interview the other for five minutes, then talk about their partner to the group.
§                                 Family Trivia - Before the party, ask guests to tell me a little-known fact about themselves.  At the party, have someone read the facts aloud and have guests guess who the mystery person is.  The one with the most correct guesses will win a gift.
§                                 Favorite family dishes - Before the party, ask guests to send me a recipe card for a favorite family dish, i.e. grandma’s homemade noodles.  Ask them to bring the prepared dish to the party for our meal that first evening.  Have the guests vote for their favorite dish.  The winning chef will receive a gift.  Compile the recipes cards into a keepsake family cookbook.
§                                 Cultural Recipes – Prepare a meal of dishes related to our family culture.
§                                 The Family Tree – Make or purchase a tree from which to hang childhood pictures of my nieces.  Place a number on the back of each picture and have the guests guess who is in each picture.  The one with the most correct answers will win a prize.
§                                 Story telling – Share a memory about cousins, aunt & nieces, a family event, etc.  As Madeleine L’Engle says,

If you don’t recount your family history, it will be lost.
Honor your own stories and tell them too.
The tales may not seem very important,
but they are what binds families
makes each of us who we are.

§                                 Family Heritage table – Family photo albums.  Copies of genealogy for each guest.  Culturally appropriate flags, symbols, flowers etc.
§                                 Gifts - Family history oriented.  Family keepsakes etc.
§                                 Care packages – Work together to prepare for nieces/cousins unable to attend.

While I’m having fun planning activities, I want to leave plenty of time to just visit, peruse albums, and reminisce together, etc.  I’m getting excited!  As I’m planning, I keep pondering a quote I read from Lee Iacocca,

No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity,
if you can’t look back on having given love
attention to your own family,
what have you really accomplished?

I don’t want to look back and feel as though I’ve accomplished nothing.


P.S.  Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:  You may also contact me at:
             Bonnie Jaeckle
             In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life
             Diagonal Progress
             505 Jefferson St.
             Diagonal, IA 50845

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