Chinese New-Year in Vermont

I’ve always been very family-oriented.  I love how close-knit my extended family has been growing up.  My Dad is one of 8 and my Mom is one of 4.  Therefore I have LOTS of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  What’s even better than having all of them, is celebrating holidays and having random gatherings together.  My Mom’s side we do Christmas and Easter.  On my Dad’s side we do Thanksgiving, Christmas, camping on Grandpa’s birthday weekend, and every week night one of the families visit my grandparents house.  Oh and we have a family reunion EVERY YEAR!

family reunion group photo

Every family has its quirks and craziness, right? (We’ve been doing this for 15+ years I think)  Well, we have this thing with our family reunions…. they are yearly, most of the family comes, and they are THEMED!  Yep, every single one has a different theme.  What does that mean?  Well, we all meet at this place that has a mess hall, cabins, outdoor space (like a summer camp) and spend the weekend doing activities – related to the theme.  Every year a group of 3-4 family members volunteer and choose the theme, plan activities, a big dinner and breakfast.

A look into a couple past reunions…

Survivor: Mexico 2006

I was on the committee for this one! We had Survivor buffs, building fire challenges, and a mexican dinner!
family reunion survivor family reunion survivor 2

Carnival 2009

Clowns, face painting, popcorn, fair food, and carnival games!
clown couple family reunion clowns

carnival game

Pirates 2010

Arrrrg!  Those are my grandparents, all dressed up!  And my sister was on the committee that year, she’s instructing the sac race.

family reunion pirates family reunion sac race

Chinese New Year 2012

A couple weekends ago we celebrated again.  This was our (Vinay & I) 3rd one together, and Avery’s First!

family portrait

There was Chinese lantern lighting…

family reuinon lantern

… a Chinese dinner followed by a dragon parade and pinata…

chinese dragon dragon piniata chinese man  family reunion 1

And as always, the duck race.  The duck race is a yearly tradition that  has nothing to do with the theme.  We all ‘buy’ ducks…

buying ducks

Each duck is numbered and your name goes on the list next to your duck’s number.  There are two groups.  One for adults and one for kids.  Then we release the ducks in the river…
duck race

And they are caught… the first one to the finish wins…

catching ducks

And guess who won this year?

duck race trophy

Yep, me!  I’m holding the infamous duck trophy. (plastic duck on top a wine bottle spray painted gold)  All our names are inscribed (sharpie marker) to the trophy and we win $$ (but we usually donate it back to the fund for next year – I did!) So I get to hang onto this baby for the next year.  I’m currently looking for a place in the house to display it…

Do you have family reunions?  How do you celebrate them?


12 thoughts on “Chinese New-Year in Vermont

  1. Haha, this is awesome! How wonderful that you have such a big family and that you all come together every year! I’m so impressed! None of my dad’s family lives in Texas, so I didn’t grow up really knowing any of them. My mom’s family is pretty much all here and much bigger and more involved, but we still don’t manage to get together all that often. In the last several years we’ve tried to have a reunion every year but it’s only an afternoon and not nearly as cool as yours! I’m thinking I might have to work on something more like this…. 🙂

    • Hi Adrianne,

      Well, it’s good your family puts an effort to gather together. You should start a ‘committee’ and throw an exciting reunion and then everyone will want to do it next year!

  2. You guys are so cute! We don’t have too many official reunions but I’ve been trying to plan (maybe too far in advance?) a reunion with my cousins for what would’ve been our grandparents’ 75th wedding anniversary, except it’s not for another four years. I gave everyone a heads up but I guess once it’s a year or so away I can actually start delegating. But wow, themes and everything! I’m interested in doing games and other showcases too, and slideshows.

    • Awe that is so sweet, Nina. Maybe since the traditional gift for 75th anniversary’s is diamonds, you can make some kind of theme around ‘diamond anniversary reunion’ with activities, food, etc. that focus around your grandparents. A slide show would be a great idea!!! You are right though, 4 years away is a while… so you can jot your ideas down now, and a year away, gather a committee and bring all those ideas to fruition!

  3. This looks like so much fun!!! Congrats on your big win, Meghan…. those duck races are great. They do one here in town for charity. It’s great fun.

    • Thanks, Stacey. I was so thrilled to win! The best part about winning is giving the $ back to the reunion fund, because that money means everyone pays a couple bucks less for the weekend, or it goes to food/activities. I was so happy to be able to do that 🙂

  4. It is so awesome that someone visits your grandparents every night. What a loving family! They must feel so blessed to have so many children that love them so much! Your family sounds so fun!

    • Thanks. It all started when my grandfather had a stroke and lost his speech and some movement/use in his right side. To keep him going and in positive spirits, my family made a schedule for each of the kids (my dad’s siblings) to visit one day a week. And most of them have upheld it for 15 years now. If I was closer (not 4 hours away) I would come once a week too. Instead, I make a point to visit them EVERY time I visit my parents.

  5. How much fun! Having a big family is so fun. I mean, I don’t come from a huge family, but on my dad’s side, he has over 50 first cousins. We once had a family reunion (back in 2000) and we all had to wear name-tags. I would L-O-V-E a big family but I don’t know how P would feel about that — he’s down to have ONE more baby, but when I even said 3, he gave me this look like, “WOMAN, ARE YOU LOCA???” So yeah, it may only be 2 for me. Perhaps if we win the lottery I could have 4 or 5. But only if i could be a housewife. HA.

    • My hubby says the same thing! If we win the lottery I can have as many kids as I want. So, here’s my deal to you, if I win the lottery, I’ll give you some so you can have some more kids haha. Oh and I would be a housewife too until they are school aged.

      Your Dad has 50 cousins OMG. That’s a HUGE family Wow!

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