Reunions

Recording Your Family Reunion

A family reunion might take forever to plan for and
successfully pull off so you will want to make sure to
capture all the memories you can.

Some people are lucky and have a photographer or
videographer already in the family and they have all of
their own equipment. For the rest of us, there are a couple
of options available. You could hire someone or do it
yourself.

Hiring a professional to record your family reunion can
save a lot of time and trouble if you can afford it.

Professionals know the right cameras and lenses to use for
every kind of lighting and weather condition and it can
make a normal picture look amazing.

Most people don’t have the kind of special equipment laying
around to do this. Of course, professionals cost quite a
bit of money but if each household of the family pitches in
a little bit, it won’t be so bad. You could always just
hire them for a couple of hours also instead of the entire
day.

If you decide to do it yourself, it can be overwhelming if
nobody helps. You will need to try to delegate others to
help with pictures and filming. It can be easy to miss all
the fun and be very disappointed later on if you are the
only one running around with a camera.

Most people have digital cameras these days so just make
sure there some reliable people operating them. Even 2
cameras can work as long as the people using them aren’t
always standing side by side.

Family reunions don’t happen all the time so you want to
make sure you are taking good pictures and movies that will
be mementos for years to come.

How to Plan a Family Reunion

Planning a family reunion is not an easy task. Many
families today just aren’t as close as they were decades
ago and people work more than one job quite often.

Trying to have everyone get time off of work can be
impossible sometimes. You might even have to plan a year or
two in advance to make sure everyone can attend.

The first thing you need to take is contacting everyone and
having them help contact other family members. Maybe you
don’t talk to your great uncle Bob but surely someone else
in the family does.

By delegating a little responsibility you can save yourself
quite a bit of time and effort. Make sure to have reliable
family members help or everything will get screwed up
however.

The next thing is to figure out where to have the family
reunion. Usually this is influenced by money. If your
family is on a pretty tight budget, odds are you won’t be
flying to Hawaii just to spend some time with cousins and
other extended family members when you could use that money
to fix up your home or vehicles. E

veryone should try as hard as they can to agree and also
accommodate older or disabled family members. It’s not a
good idea to plan a wilderness themed family reunion full
of hikes when Grandma is in a wheelchair.

After you have planned the when and where, all you really
need to do is follow up with everyone often. Monthly calls
and reminders will work for a while until the date starts
getting closer.

You will have to make sure anyone who isn’t coming notifies
the family so they can be taken off the list if you have
planned activities.

Good Places to have Family Reunions

The location for a family reunion is very important. You
can hold it indoors or outdoors and on your family’s
property or public property.

You need to make sure that the entire family or at least a
majority agree with the location.

If half of your family are into extreme sports and the
other half consider church exciting, it can be very hard to
compromise and you may end up having to have everyone vote
on a choice of different places.

A family home or something very memorable to everyone is
always a good idea and doesn’t require reservations or
permits.

Tourist destinations are great for family reunions. This
includes theme parks, beaches, resorts, or even a nice
hotel with something fun nearby.

Many of these places will offer a great discount if you
tell them you are setting up a family reunion there.

Disneyland for example has special packages designed for
this sort of thing. The best time to visit tourist
destinations is during the off season. Instead of setting
up a family reunion for June, try May. There will be a lot
less people there and rates may be a lot cheaper.

If you decide to rent either a park, church, or other
public facility, make sure to plan as far in advance as
possible.

Some places may require some type of permit if your family
is very large and others may need a security deposit as
well. National parks aren’t very expensive if your family
loves the outdoors and you could even turn it into a big
camp-out if everyone is willing.

Gifts for Family Reunions

Family reunions are the perfect place to incorporate a
birthday, anniversary, or other event in your family’s
life. Naturally, gifts can play an important role at large
family events.

Though this isn’t necessary for family members you see on a
daily or weekly basis, it can really mean something to
those Cousins, Aunts, and Uncles you don’t get to see as
often as you like.

Younger family members and children love gifts and it’s fun
to incorporate them somewhere in your family reunion.

One fun idea for giving gifts that includes the entire
family is the « Secret Santa ». It doesn’t have to be near
Christmas for this to be a lot of fun.

You assign someone to each family member making sure not to
have doubles and allot a certain dollar amount like $10.
The gift buyer gets something the family member would like
or something silly and wraps it up.

Sometime during the family reunion, everyone gathers
together and the names are read off and gifts are
exchanged. This can be a lot of fun.

Some of the best gifts you can give are family pictures. If
you rarely see some of your extended family, by giving or
exchanging family pictures, you can be a little closer with
each other.

Everyone has some picture of a family member that hasn’t
been updated for years so this is the perfect time to fix
that.

Someone should also be the designated reunion photographer.
They can be in charge of taking pictures of everyone all
day long.

When these get developed, you should make a set for each
family that was there and also those that couldn’t make it.

Fun Family Reunion Activities

Sure family reunions are great for historical purposes and
helps your family stay very close but there might be a
problem. What the heck is everyone going to do for hours
together?

Sure you can eat and talk but how much time can that really
kill? You will need to plan some activities!

Activities can be fun for almost everyone depending on what
you want to do. You should have activities that are fun for
the entire family and also special activities to help keep
the children busy and under control.

So, what are some good all-inclusive activities? Well, most
people’s problem with these is that they try way too hard
on them.

The best activities are very simple ones. Sports and games
are two of the easiest things to organize and very fun for
a lot of family members.

Depending on the size of your family, you could do anything
from volleyball to softball and anything in between. If
your family is very athletic, you could hold a mini family
Olympics complete with ribbons and awards.

Children can get bored easily at family reunions. Teenagers
will most likely wander around playing their gameboys or
complaining but the younger ones definitely need
entertainment.

If you are going to be at a park, a great thing to consider
is a giant bouncy house or slide. You can usually rent
these by the hour and the rental place will set them up and
take them down for you. Kids love these and they help burn
off a lot of energy.

Children’s games or tables for coloring are also great
ideas. Sack races and other fun stuff can really give
children a memory that will last a lifetime.

Family Reunions

Family reunions are a great way to keep in touch with your
extended family and teach your children about your family
heritage.

Usually families figure out a date that is convenient and a
place that isn’t too far from everyone’s home.

That can be a very difficult thing to try to organize and
is the number one reason family reunions don’t happen as
much as everyone would like.

Family members can be very busy or just not be able to take
time off work. Sometimes, someone might not even like the
family and just skip the whole thing anyway.

There are tons of things to do to get ready for a family
reunion. Communication is the most important aspect of the
planning process. If everyone isn’t in touch with each
other, that is the first order of business.

After you pick a date, you have to agree on a place. It
could be the home of an older relative or just someone who
has the biggest house or maybe a theme park. Food is always
a factor at family reunions and whether you decide to have
a barbecue or a catered meal, everyone loves to eat.

Family reunions always have their ups and downs. This is
exaggerated with family because people feel much more
comfortable teasing and insulting each other.

Add a little alcohol into the mix and there is a good
chance of people getting angry or offended. It all depends
on the family though. Some families really get along great
and make many wonderful memories at a family reunion.

Family Reunions at Theme Parks

Everyone has been to a family reunion at someone’s house or
at a park. Though this is fun for some family members, many
will think it’s pretty dull and wish the reunion could have
been held somewhere a little more exciting.

Having your family reunion at a theme park is a lot of fun
and can also be part of a vacation. It can be difficult to
plan it so everyone in the family can attend but if you
really get everyone involved, it can easily be pulled off.

Unless you live in the Dakota’s, almost everyone lives
pretty close to some type of theme park. It may be
Disneyland or Disneyworld if you live in California or
Orlando. It could be Great adventure or Six Flags if you
live in other parts of the country.

The trick is to pick one that is fairly close to everyone
in the family unless some people plan to fly and don’t care
where you go. Driving for more than 12 hours can be taxing
on families that have a lot of kids and everyone will be in
a bad mood for a day or two so you should have a day to
relax before gathering at the theme park.

Keeping together is a problem with family reunions at theme
parks because they are full of people and you can easily
lose one another.

A good solution to this is to plan meeting points at
certain times. A good place to meet is around the entrance
to the park every few hours so you can make sure everyone
is there and go get something to eat together.

This also is an opportune time for pictures together and
taking a little break.

Family Reunion Tips

Family reunions can be very stressful and by the time you
have it all organized and it’s done with, you might realize
you had no fun at all because you spent the entire time
trying to make everyone else happy.

Sure you will have great pictures and everyone will say
« What a great reunion! » but you should be a PART of the
reunion as well as just the organizer.

Here are some simple tips to help make sure all the work
doesn’t fall on your shoulders.

The first thing you should ever do is remember to stay
ahead of the game. If you are having the reunion outdoors,
have a backup plan just in case it rains.

If you are barbecuing for everyone, be sure to have extra
everything. Coals, gas, plates, cups, food, and drinks.
Even if nobody likes your barbecued salmon, you will have
plenty for yourself later on.

Make sure you have people to help you clean also. Even a
small family can annihilate a park with trash.

Don’t organize the entire thing by yourself. Many people do
this and it can really ruin the experience for them. If
your spouse wants nothing to do with it, get a sibling or
parent to help you.

If your sons and daughters have their own families,
delegate some responsibility to them. You did make them
after all.

Don’t expect your family reunion to be absolutely perfect.
When you get a big group of people together, there is bound
to be an issue or two.

If you let everyone drink beer all day, by evening, odds
are you will have to scrape at least one family member off
the ground and get them home.

People are unpredictable so as long as you remember that,
when something weird happens, you can laugh and try to
resolve it easily.

Family Reunion Problems

As with any large gathering of people, family reunions have
the potential to turn ugly. If uncle Bob absolutely can’t
stand Aunt Joan and they both start drinking cocktails at
noon, it’s probably a sign of bad things to come.

There are many other types of problems that could arise in
addition to personal conflicts and by being well prepared,
you will be able to tackle any problem with ease.

For personal conflicts, there really are only a couple
things you can do. The obvious one is to just not invite
the person who has the biggest potential to start problems.

It might sound like a good thing to do but really, family
reunions should have the whole family regardless of how
much of a trouble maker someone is.

Instead, you could enforce an alcohol free reunion and
afterwards they can go drink as much as they want.

It’s impossible to keep one part of the family away from
another part at a park but if you go somewhere like a theme
park, you could just let people go do what they want
instead of staying in a forced group.

Weather is the other biggest factor you need to keep in
mind. If you plan half a day outside with the entire family
and it decides to pour down raining, what is your backup
plan?

You always need a backup plan with regards to weather. If
you can’t go to the park you were going to go to, you will
need to find an indoor alternative.

In some parts of the country, this won’t be an option so
you will need to either try again the next day or make it
up as you go along.

Everyone going to a movie isn’t that exciting but it may be
your only option besides wandering a local shopping mall.

Plan carefully and it won’t ruin the reunion.

Cheap Food For Family Reunions

So you have 40 relatives ready to attend your family
reunion. What are you going to do about food? The biggest
issue is, where is all of that food going to come from in
the first place and who is going to pay for it.

The organizer of the reunion is just that. The organizer.
They shouldn’t be expected to provide food and drinks for
everybody by themselves.

You will need to consult the heads of each family to get an
idea of what to do. You might have to use a majority rule
type of system because people don’t often agree on what to
eat.

Restaurants and caterers are very expensive so here are a
couple alternatives.

Barbecue is one of the cheapest and most fun ways to feed
any large group of people. Almost everyone has a grill they
can load up and take to a park and if not, they know
someone who will loan them one.

Barbecues are great because of the many options you can
cook at the same time. You can cook ribs, hamburgers, hot
dogs, chicken, fish, and even vegetables right on the
grill.

This is a great way to please almost everyone. Vegetarians
may be left out but you can grill them some corn on the cob
or they can bring some veggie burgers.

A potluck is a great way to go if you don’t feel like
barbecuing and everyone lives relatively close to each
other.

Far away relatives won’t be able to contribute much so this
is best for families that live within 100 miles of each
other.

The airlines are pretty strict these days and having
Grandma bring her famous Jell-O salad from New Jersey just
isn’t an option.