Organizing family reunions doesn’t seem too hard does it? It’s basically planning a full-size party for family members only. The most basic thing to do is to make a list of everything that needs to be done and to get some other family members to help you out with the entire reunion. Once you have done that, the first step to actually organizing a reunion is to pick a date. Planning several months before the reunion would be best so that the family members organizing the reunion can have time to come up with different days and how long the reunion will be. Then, try to pick a date when most of the family has time and can be present at the reunion. For example, during summer vacation, or Christmas break when you know the children who go to school and adults who work will have time off. After the rendezvous has been set, make a list of all the family members that will be able to attend or, if you’re still not sure who can and can’t make it, make an estimate of the amount of family you think will be attending.
Up next is picking a location. Having an adequate location is essential to having a fun family reunion. Keeping the quantity of people attending, budget, weather, and how long the reunion will last in mind, try to choose a setting that can accommodate all family members. “The longer a reunion lasts, the more space you should have to spread out” (Haltzman). Now consider the food. Depending on how much you plan on spending on food, you can have a caterer, have a picnic, or make it a potluck. Not everybody has the same taste so make sure that there is a wide selection of food for everyone to choose from. Think of the most trouble-free foods, nothing too extravagant, maybe wings, pizza, hot dogs, and burgers, and a little something for everyone to enjoy. If you do not offer a variety for the relatives to choose from, there will be some disappointed family members, especially the parents with picky eaters, and surely we don’t wish for that. Next are the activities and entertainment. It isn’t a family gathering until we have music, games and activities to bring everybody together. For the entertainment the best way to go is with a DJ.
There is going to be many different age groups, from children to the elders, so having somebody who can play a good range of music will make the experience that much more positive. There should be something for everybody to do, for the elderly, adults and children. Think of a carnival, how it has all the different games from shooting a basket, to a ring toss, darts, etc. Having games like those, team sports and arts and crafts would make the occasion ideal for the whole family. Last but not least, take some time to talk about the family history. If allowed, having a bonfire outside and just gathering every single family member around it would make the reunion even more special. If you can’t just get everybody together where they fit and have an elder or a group, tell the history, the struggles and triumphs of your family. You can even have one of your relatives’ video tape or record the history being told so that the stories could be passed down from generation to generation and never lost. Organizing a family reunion is a great way to bring everyone together and having it be successful is not that easy. As long as you are organized, patient, work together with other members who are helping you plan the reunion, and follow these simple steps, your family reunion will be the best one yet!
Haltzman, Scott. “A Family Reunion Planner” Real Simple 2010: Web. 4 September 2013