What are Some Ideas for Family Reunions?

Even with all the latest computer technology that allows us to keep in convenient contact with our far away family members, it's still nice to visit them in person from time to time. If we can manage to get everyone together in one place, we can have an all-out family reunion. Although finding a time and place where all family members can meet takes careful planning as well as patience and a thick skin, family reunions can be wonderful! Here are some ideas to keep in mind if you'd like to plan a family reunion:

First of all, remember that just because you do somehow manage to get the majority of your family together, family reunions don't magically erase feelings or resentments that have built up over time. That said, family reunions are a great way to reconnect with relatives you may have lost touch with due to the geographical distance between you. It also gives relatives such as cousins an opportunity to meet members of their family they may have never met.

The first step in planning a family reunion is to create a list of all family members to invite. It’s a good idea to have a team of family members helping you plan the reunion. Not only will it reduce the work for you, it will help cut down the risk of forgetting to invite family that should have been invited! Another great idea when planning family reunions is to email or phone family members informally about their ideas for where to hold the reunion and what months would work for them to attend. You can split the list of names between your planning team and the responses will give you a better idea of the "when" and "where" of the planned reunion.

Once you have the place and date of the family reunion figured out, you can plan the food, themes, decorations and activities. A brainstorming approach with your relatives on your planning team can be a lot of fun as well as helpful. The best approach for family reunions is to keep everything simple, especially if children will be attending. Think of a simple buffet that will allow for something for everyone and games and activities that are easy enough for all ages. For example, you could have bingo cards that spell out your family’s last name with photos of family members taking the place of bingo numbers.

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Post 2

We used to have family reunions at least once a year, but it got to the point where nobody could agree on a time or a place. Some families already had their own vacations planned, and others had school or work obligations they couldn't get out of. Out of a family of 40, we'd be lucky if 10 of us could make it to the reunion.

I say if you want a better result, set a firm date and location for the reunion and just leave it up to individual families to decide if they can attend or not. There's no good way to accommodate every single family's schedules, so I say don't bother trying. If a formal family reunion doesn't happen, then try for a few private family get-togethers throughout the year.

Post 1

I have a lot of older relatives in my family, and one thing we've had to consider is easy access. The younger families with kids may want to have the reunion at a park with playground equipment, but sometimes those places aren't easy for older relatives to negotiate. Bathroom facilities may not be conveniently located, either. We've had to reject some good ideas because we knew we couldn't ask grandparents and older aunts and uncles to hike to a picnic pavilion.

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