The Family Tree of Life - Planning A Reunion

By Michael Lerner
Wednesday, August 15th 2018
The summertime is the most popular season for throwing family reunions. Parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and cousins usually find it easiest to meet from July until Labor Day Weekend. Barbecues and picnics are the most popular outings because more people can assemble in a backyard or park and it is a lot easier to clean up when a party is held outdoors.

Usually one or a few family members are charged with coordinating the festivities of a family reunion and the task can be a great one when there are large families involved. It is best to make a game plan and keep a running record of what needs to be done and what is already completed.

PLANNING
Start with a list of family members and reach out to each person of individual family group with a questionnaire when the best time and where the best place will be to throw the party. Ask for imput on themes, food and gifts and keepsake ideas. It is also important to recruit committee members to help in making decisions and executing ideas.

BUDGET
The cost of throwing a family reunion outing can be as small as the cost of hot dogs and soda, or can be almost as elaborate as a wedding or Bar Mitzvah. It is important to come up with a financial game plan for the cost of the party as well as consideration of travel and possible hotel expenses for family members coming from out of town. Unless one person has the means, it is best to ask participants to kick in some money, or contribute food, gifts or services. Consideration to individual's and family's incomes should allow everyone to participate without feeling bad.

INVITATIONS
Now it's time to get the word out. Of course emails, text and Facebook are easy and free avenues of communication, but a postcard, mailer or refrigerator magnet also makes a great reminder to save the date. Follow up more than once in order to reach every family member.

DECORATIONS
Whether indoors our outside, it is important to make your family runion festive. Decorate with banners, posters and ballons and leave place settings like plates and napkins with your family's name, the event date and other information.

MENU
Some of the best food comes from a family reunion. Barbecues are usually the meal of choice, but with the potential of many cooks in the family tree, there is likely to be a wide selection of cultural selections. Burgers, chicken, hot dogs, ribs with potato salad, chips, lemonade and beer are always a favorite. But, every family may be able to contribute more culinary treat ideas.

ACTIVITIES
Once everyone says hello, hugs and catches up, it's time for some fun. Assign a member to be a DJ and play music that will get your outing jumping. Games for children and adults like potato sack races, badmitton, soccer and basketball will create new memories. And for older folks, a family trivia game may be a great way to share memories and teach new family members about their heritage.

KEEPSAKES & MEMENTOS
When the last smile, tear and hug occurs and everyone heads home, it is time to provide a lasting memento of your family reunion. Specially decorated giveaways are available to send participants home with a memory they can enjoy until the next event. Choose from a wide selection of family "tree" designs or come up with your own artwork and theme and print on Koozie can coolers, t-shirts, cups, beach balls, Frisbees and sunglasses.

BACKUP PLAN
Guess what? Even the best made plans can reach a snag. A rainstorm on the day of your event can certainly put a damper on your carefully organized reunion. Make sure to have a backup plan - either a rain date or a backup venue.

Family reunions can be a lot of work, but they are also a lot of fun and provide lasting memories of loved ones and the times you share. Try to make the most of your family celebration! Promos On-Time offers a wide selection of decorations and gifts for your next big family reunion.