The holiday season is approaching… For many, this means family reunions, sometimes a lot of them. To help minimize the stress of organizing your family get-together, here are a few tips to keep the planning manageable, the work minimal, and most importantly, the family happy.
From the moment you know a family reunion will be taking place, reach out to your family. Email, text, and call them to get everyone involved (this is, after all, a family affair). If you are going to be the one organizing the event, delegate responsibilities to others and listen to suggestions. The more help you accept the less work you’ll have to do, and the more your family will feel like they’re participating in the planning process.
Plan Way Ahead
Give yourself (and your family members) time – lots of time. Life happens and the reunion will be here before you know it, so allow a sizeable buffer between the day you start planning and the event itself. Depending on the complexity of your gathering, you’ll have a lot of things to setup and coordinate, and maybe even a few problems to solve, so space things out. Pick a date that works for everyone and stick to it.
Location, Location, Location
Many families have members from all over. Whether your family is a few cities over or several states away, you’ll want to find a place that (a) everyone can get to and (b) everyone wants to go to. Consider the difficulty involved for all members of your family as you select the reunion location. Will people need to fly? Are hotels necessary? Is it affordable? If members of your family are going to spend money getting to your reunion destination, it’s important that they are excited to be there. Find a destination that elicits joy so that everyone has something to look forward to.
Mind the Money
Reunions can get expensive fast. Food, lodging, and travel can add up. Be aware of everyone’s financial situations. If only one person in your family can afford a trip to London, perhaps Big Ben isn’t the place to go. Talk to your loved ones to determine which sorts of locations they’d be willing to travel to, what they’d be willing to do there, and how long they wish to stay there. Planning closer to the lowest budget, as opposed to the highest, can provide for a more enjoyable reunion for all.
Activities, Just in Case
Have back-up things to do. There will naturally be lulls in the plans you and your family make. While some may enjoy a nap after lunch, prepare a few other options. Board games, sports, and other fun “mini” activities can keep people entertained while others are allowed to rest. Not only will this give your entire family some options, but it may also provide for a lot of wonderfully unexpected memories!
No matter what you and your family do for your reunion, enjoy your time with one another. Have fun, be active, and get the most out of your time together.