Family reunions are supposed to be fun times, full of memories. But, they’re also a time to create new experiences and add to the photo album. So, here are some simple steps for holding a memorable family reunion that won’t soon be forgotten.
Create A Family Tradition
Many families have a tradition of playing a game before or after dinner. But, many families lack this bond or cohesiveness. In some families, people scatter off and do their own thing. It’s sad, really.
If you want to turn things around, and create a tighter-knit community with your family, consider starting a tradition: family game time. You could use these custom playing cards and print up faces of all of your family members on them. The patriarch and matriarch (usually the grandparents or great grandparents) can be the king and queen, respectively, and then go on down the line using face cards and eventually the number cards.
If you have more than 52 people in your family, you have an interesting problem – you could always buy two card decks and shuffle them together.
Every family has a joker, so this should be obvious. The little ones can be the “2”s and “3”s, and parents can be jacks. If you have exceptionally talented family members, make them the aces in the deck.
Now every time you play, you’ll really be playing with family. Sure, as time goes on, children will grow up and, unfortunately, grandparents pass away. But, the memories you create at each family gathering will live on in the physical representation of them – even if it is only a deck of cards. It will become one of your most cherished traditions.
Mix Up Table Settings
If you’re used to sitting next to a particular person for dinner, switch it up. Sit next to someone else. You don’t necessarily need assigned seating, but you cold if you really think it would be necessary to change it up.
Some family members probably don’t get along – it happens in every family. That’s OK. You can work around it or you can encourage people to strengthen those bonds.
Strengthen Weak Relationships
It’s not always easy to strengthen bonds with family members you don’t get along with. Differing political views, religious views (this is less common), or just different personalities can drive a wedge in your family ties.
Family reunions are a great opportunity to extend an olive branch, make peace, and build relationships. Of course, sometimes the problem isn’t that you’re enemies with anyone. It’s that you simply don’t know them very well.
This is even easier. Sit next to them, chat them up, and get to know that 2nd cousin.
Buy The Patriarch and Matriarch A Special Gift
This is more common in tight-knit families where the grandparents are celebrating a milestone anniversary, like a 50th wedding anniversary. But, it can be done at any family reunion. Buy the patriarch and matriarch a special memento from the entire family.
It will require some coordination, and people will need to pitch in, but a family ring, or perhaps a portrait signed by all family members, or maybe a vacation that everyone chips in for would be appropriate. There are many gift ideas that would be appropriate. The important thing is to honor the “head” of the family.