How to Plan a Family Reunion

6:46 PM

Family reunions can be as simple or elaborate as we want it to be, depending on what activities we would like to do during the event. When my brother who is permanently based in another country came visiting last week with his wife, we had a mini-reunion of sorts in a restaurant. Together with our mother, my younger sister, and the kids, we were able to catch up with each other's life as best as we could, given the limited time.

So how do we plan for a successful reunion? Regardless of how many people are involved or where it is to be held, holding a reunion will always require planning. The difference will lie in the degree of difficulty in logistics as the bigger the event, the more planning is required. It obviously also requires more bodies to perform specific tasks.

Steps in Planning a Family Reunion

Determine Invitees

The size of the event will depend on who the invitees will be. Will it be limited to the core family or will it include extended families such as cousins, uncles, in-laws, and so on? Once this is determined, the intention to hold a reunion must be sounded off to these people by the lead organizer for possible inputs in the date, venue, and activities.

Delegate Tasks and Responsibilities

This step is very important especially if there are specific activities sought to be accomplished during the event such as honoring a member of the family. Meetings should be held for further discussion or at the very least constant communication through phone must be done. This is to facilitate updates  or sounding off of difficulties encountered in the task so they can be addressed immediately.

Finalize Date and Venue

Finalizing dates and venues should be done as early as possible to take advantage of more options. The nearer the date, the fewer options there are especially during peak season like Christmas. Even if the designated venue is  the home of one of the members of the family, early setting of date is more advantageous to ensure that more invitees will be available to attend. There will also be other matters to consider like food preparation and decorating the place.

Attend to Other Related Matters

Will you be giving out souvenirs to attendees? Will you be requiring the attendees to come in outfits in accordance with a theme? Will there be special numbers to be performed by family members? Will you have special guests for the occasion? There are actually a lot of small details to attend to so the earlier they are settled, the better.

Follow-up and Confirm

Several days before the event itself, it would be wise to have someone check preparations, follow-up on assigned tasks , and confirm attendance. This is to make sure that last minute kinks can be ironed out, just in case. This is also an opportune time to check if everybody who needs to be invited has been actually invited to avoid unnecessarily hurting the feelings of those who may have been "forgotten" in the confusion of preparing.

My Say

When all the things that need to be done have been done, everybody should settle down and have a good time. In any event, there is bound to be some unexpected mishap so there is no use in organizers beating themselves about it. After all, you are with family and these are the people who are supposed to understand and help.

That said, holding family reunions is a very common practice among Filipinos. Sometimes, we make all kinds of excuses just to hold one. This is one way we can maintain communication with our loved ones as we go back to the comfort of being with family even for a few hours. Children will also be exposed to the practice and will hopefully continue the tradition to ensure that they will never be strangers with their own family.

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