Nothing can replace the feeling of having a loving family and relatives whom you know will stand beside you no matter what. But in this day of emails and Internet chatting, the younger generation of the family often fails to be connected with their kin. More often than not, they do not even know who their cousins or great grandparents are. Holding family reunions resolves this problem and connects family members including other relatives with each other.
However, it is easier said than done. A family reunion is not just about having food on the table and connecting the ties between family members. Remember, it is just like any other occasion—the mood should be festive. Here's how to plan and prepare a family reunion which will create lasting memories for each family member.
Having a family reunion committee is the best way to start. A big group should be assigned for larger family reunions as there will be more planning aspects involved. Someone should be assigned to be in-charge of inviting relatives through mailings or emails, phone calls, or personal visits. This person will also be the one to update the contact information of each relative.
Somebody should also be in-charge of setting up the location. This does not only mean finding the right place for the event but also dressing it up and cleaning the place come reunion day.
In small family reunions, the food set-up may be potluck, but this is not advisable for bigger reunions. Some families holding grand reunions opt to have a caterer to serve the food instead, as this makes food serving more organized. The finances should also be settled for grand family reunions. Contributions per family can be collected or wealthier relatives can give donations for renting the place where the event will be held.
Since a family reunion is held to strengthen ties among family members, it would be best if there are members of the family who would act as historians. The more senior members can recount old family traditions or share a piece of history with old photos for the younger ones to see. A family tree chart can also be set up in one corner of the location so that anyone can just go to it and retrace his roots. Games and activities should also be geared towards getting to know each other better. A quiz game about the family history is a good idea.
Documenting the event is also of utmost importance. There are several ways to do this. First, it is good for family members to have souvenirs of the family reunion. A personalized shirt, button, or mug will do. Color codes can be assigned to identify each family. Photos and videos should be taken, and it would be better to hire somebody to do the job. Since everyone is expected to bring his own camera, e-mail sharing or photo sharing through social networking site profiles can be done among the family members. This is the best option to share photos, especially with other family members who are overseas.