Some of the best memories of my childhood are the casual family reunions we had with all of my mother’s relatives. She came from a large family with ten children, and most of them still lived within an hours drive from us. There was no planning necessary for these frequent gatherings of aunts, uncles and numerous cousins of all ages. Instead, we just had a potluck lunch at the local park. The kids played games while the parents chatted, and everyone had a great time.
Times have changed and our lives are much more hectic nowadays. Yet I see nothing wrong with this casual approach to planning a family reunion today. It’s a simple, no-stress way to get together with family members, catch up, and enjoy each other’s company.
Of course, if your relatives are spread out all over the country, then the main task you’ll have for planning a family reunion of this type is to pick a date where everyone who wants to attend will be able to do so. That in itself can be no small feat, but once you have the date of the reunion narrowed down, there’s very little else to do except show up with your potluck dish and a fun game or two.
If you really want to go all out and plan a family reunion that encompasses something more elaborate than a picnic lunch in the park, you still have to start with the date and proceed from there. You’ll then need to decide where you want the reunion to be held. Some things to take into consideration are 1) where the most family members live, 2) financial situations 3) ability to travel, and 4) what do you want to do.
If everyone is financially and physically able to travel, you might want to consider planning a family reunion at fun destinations such as Disneyland, Hawaii or Las Vegas, or take a short cruise. My father treated his five children and their spouses to a Caribbean cruise, and I enjoyed it more than I ever thought possible. Cruises are great for family reunions because everyone can do their own thing on the ship and on the shore excursions, yet still get together for meals and special events like the Captain’s Dinner. Of course, it helped that Dad was footing the bill for the cruise, so planning a family reunion like this might not be feasible for your family.
If you decide to just plan a family reunion that is local and low key, then you have other options besides the city park. Consider booking a banquet room at a nice restaurant for the evening. If any of your family members live in a condo, you should be able to reserve it for your reunion, or inquire about other club rooms that the public might be able to use for a small fee.
If you’re the designated planner of the family reunion, it can be difficult to please everyone. In that case, you might have to go with a “majority rules” decision and live with it. Most of all, try to remember that a family reunion should be about reconnecting with your relatives in an enjoyable setting. Whether you decide to plan a family reunion that is simple and inexpensive or opt for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I wish you much luck and hope you have a great time!