Family reunions have been a tradition for many during the holidays. It’s an anticipated event that brings a family together at least once a year. The time-honored tradition is special for many, especially for big families, as it allows them to bond, laugh, eat, drink, and be merry with their loved ones.
If you are in charge of this year’s celebration, you will need all the help you can get to organize a Thanksgiving family reunion – more so if the event is going to be out of town. To help you get started on planning this momentous family event, here are some invaluable tips you will need to prepare, including fun activity ideas to make your event more special and unforgettable.
What Is a Family Reunion?
A family reunion is a gathering of immediate and extended family members, which may occur annually on the same date or according to availability. Family reunions can serve as a chance for a family to remain connected and deepen relationships even if members live far away. It also offers a chance to go out of town for a vacation with your loved ones. There is no necessary party size, frequency, or timeframe for a family reunion, and the reunions may include a few close acquaintances unrelated to the family.
Common family reunion activities and preparations include outdoor outings, shared meals, party games, and the sharing of family history and experiences.
Family Reunion: Why Is It Important?
To reunite with the family.
Due to various circumstances, whether for a career or their own personal preference, siblings may reside somewhere other than their hometown when they had their own families. With that, a yearly family gathering is when family members can reconnect with each other. It’s the perfect time to catch up with your loved ones and learn about each other’s well-being. A reunion with the family may also be a perfect event to introduce a new spouse or baby to the rest of the family.
To celebrate an event or memory.
Numerous families use reunions to commemorate significant events in their lives. It is an excellent opportunity for family members who were unable to attend a family wedding and spend time with the couple. Reunions can also be used to welcome new marriages.
In addition, reunions allow families who have lost loved ones during the year to honor their life and celebrate their memory together.
To honor your heritage.
During a reunion with the family, both older and younger generations get together. It means you’ll have a great opportunity to talk about your lineage and heritage, with the older generations passing the proverbial torch to younger generations by sharing old family tales, cherished recipes, and other traditions.
A family reunion is also the ideal moment to initiate new family traditions, allowing the younger generation to contribute their values and ideas.
To have fun.
In the end, family reunions may bring a great deal of joy. It is a period reserved for spending quality time with loved ones, including engaging in enjoyable activities and sharing excellent meals.
Thanksgiving Family Reunion Checklist
1. Plan ahead of time.
You’ll need at least a year to arrange larger family gatherings. Planning a family reunion early provides every participant the time to request time off from work, arrange transportation, and choose a convenient date for most attendees.
2. Establish a budget.
Determine in advance how much each family should contribute to the overall budget. You want to avoid surprising any family member with an outrageous bill at the conclusion of the reunion.
3. Provide date and location alternatives.
When you have set a budget and timeframe to plan, send a survey to each family member confirming their availability for specific dates and their ideal selection from the family reunion destination ideas listed in the form.
4. Send out invitations in advance.
Send informal notices as soon as possible and official invitations at least six weeks beforehand. Again, this is necessary so family members can set up their own schedules in advance.
5. Assign some tasks to other members of the family.
As mentioned earlier, planning a family reunion is not an easy feat. That’s why, if you don’t ask for help, chances are, you’ll be exhausted even before the event takes place.
So the best way to go about it is to ask for help from family members willing to give you a hand. Set up committees and assign members to handle each one. Planning committees may consist of finances, reservations, food management, transportation and accommodation, entertainment, and a coordinator for communications.
6. Begin the reunion on a positive note.
A welcome reception will definitely add a nice touch to the event. It will make attendees feel more at ease and offer insight into how fun the whole event will be. The welcome party may include some snacks and drinks, a couple of simple activities, and a welcome speech from a senior family member.
Fun Activities For Family Reunions
- Trivia Contest – Divide attendees into teams and have them compete by answering rounds of themed trivia questions. Use family history questions to determine who knows each other best, or stick to standard categories such as movies, music, television, and history.
- Baby Photo Guessing Game – Ask family members for baby photos of themselves in advance. You can display these photos at the event and challenge attendees to guess who’s who.
- Outdoor Movie Night – Bring the fun outdoors by setting up an outdoor movie night. You can gather in a rustic family barn or beneath the stars with a projector screen. Also, prepare lots of blankets, pillows, hot cocoa, popcorn, and candies to make the event as comfortable for attendees as possible.
- Family Olympics – Why not host a family Olympics if your family is sporty and up for a challenge? Recreate your favorite sporting events and challenges at your family reunion to ensure everyone has a good time. Olympic-inspired activities for family reunions include relay races, table tennis, archery, and tug-of-war.
- Family Photos Ops – You will undoubtedly snap a group shot to create a visual recall of the entire family, something you don’t often get to do! You may anticipate numerous photographs being taken, including at least one of the entire group.
- Day Tour Around your Location – Who said a family reunion could only take place in one location? Frequently, a destination is chosen because of the surrounding attractions, such as museums, parks, restaurants, and bars. Skiing, hiking, or more relaxed brewery or winery tours are all options for you and your family. You can participate in these enjoyable activities by budgeting for the necessary transportation when planning the event.
Family reunions are an excellent opportunity to connect with distant relatives worldwide and to learn more about your genealogy and ancestry. With effective collaboration, engaging activities, and careful preparation to organize a Thanksgiving family reunion, your event will become an unforgettable experience. Consider the tips and suggestions mentioned above to create an event that will be reminisced about forever. Be receptive to chance, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember that there is no such thing as a perfect family event; what matters is that everyone will feel special and valued during and after the celebration.
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