Family reunions are a celebration of relatives past, present, and future. They bring family together, creating memories that will last a lifetime through shared stories and connections. Planning these events requires time and effort, but the result is well worth it! As families grow apart with different moves, relationships, or lifestyles, it is imperative to find a time to get together to build enduring family ties. This can be difficult if members are only close during the holidays, but a family reunion can become an annual event that all family members look forward to!
Start by rounding up your family members from across the country or globe. Letters, emails, or social media all provide great methods of reaching out to loved ones. Make sure to ask for a response to gage both interest and availability in the proposed event. Picking a date can be one of the most challenging parts of reunion planning because each branch of family has different obligations throughout the year. Think: graduations, camps, vacations, weddings, pregnancies, etc. Some family members will be unable to attend, but offering a range of dates helps accommodate different schedules in order to receive high participation.
Choosing a destination where family members can do a variety of activities is the best way to ensure interest and participation. Each family has its own traditions and hobbies, so personalizing a reunion to fit the desires and characteristics of your family helps make it a special, memorable event. If a family is very outdoor-oriented, look for destinations in the mountains where hiking, biking, rafting, and fishing activities are readily available. Similarly, head to the beach if that best fits a family mindset. Remember… there does not need to be a special destination for a family reunion to be successful. Organizing an event at an individual’s home provides the same meaningful interaction as anywhere else. Family reunions revolve around family, not the destination!
Home-cooked meals are a staple of many reunions, preserving family traditions through food and drink. Recipes can be passed down to younger generations and symbolize a strong family bond. It is not uncommon for families to prepare the same foods year after year during reunions. This builds tradition within the family and develops a great sense of culture.
Documenting the family reunion is one of the most important steps. While the family members bond, be sure to take pictures or videos to preserve the memory and share it after the reunion ends. Photo albums and guestbooks can be used in later reunions to share old stories and remember loved ones.
Get in touch with relatives about a future gathering to celebrate your family! The reunion will be a great success and provide cherished memories for the years to come. Traditions are an important aspect of family which can be developed and preserved through any interaction!