As winter approaches, you’re probably busy planning all of your family commitments and holiday parties. During this hectic time of year, it’s easy to get burnt out on family get-togethers. However, if you help plan your family’s reunions, winter is actually the perfect time to start planning for your next family reunion.
Because many families celebrate Thanksgiving as well as Christmas and New Year’s together, the holidays are a great time to start a conversation about the next family reunion. If you are helping to plan a family reunion, don’t let the holidays slip by without obtaining some important information via direct contact with your family. The holidays are a great time to start planning a family reunion because it will give you a chance to obtain buy-in from your family and get insight into everyone’s plans for the coming year.
Face-to-face is the best way to discuss whether or not a family reunion is something that everyone is interested in. The ability to see the expression on people’s faces, listen to their comments, judge their level of enthusiasm and take note of whether or not people are volunteering, are all the best gauges in determining whether a family reunion makes sense or not.
Here are the first three things you must decide:
- Select a date
The holidays are also a great time to figure out everyone’s plans for the coming year. Are there any weddings, big vacations, babies being born, etc.? Once all of those important details are on paper, you can set a date. You may want to consider getting together at some time other than in the summer. People typically are busiest during the summer months and the facilities you are looking at are also going to be booked well in advance.
- Set a budget
The next big conversation you have with your family will have to be about money. There is always a wide range of what people can afford. It is important to take everyone’s budgets into account and plan accordingly. Budget will be a deciding factor when choosing a family reunion destination. If money is an issue for the majority of the group, perhaps a single day event at a central location would be the best plan. If you are considering a destination event, decide on the amount that each family is willing to spend on transportation, lodging and meals.
- Choose a planning team
Finally, decide who will be on the planning team. It is typically a good idea to have one person designated as the lead planner and that person can designate others to help with the various aspects of the event. Do not simply assign people to be part of the planning team. Make sure you ask if they can help so that everyone that is planning the event is excited and eager to help.
The planning team should meet several times to discuss various aspects of the event. E-mail, conference calls, or a website are all platforms that can be used to facilitate this process. Assign one person to handle the accommodations, one to handle food, one to handle recreation, one to handle pictures/memory gathering, etc. Encourage all of the members of the family, from the oldest to the youngest, to help with brainstorming ideas for the family reunion. Include family traditions, recipes, stories, keepsakes, and pictures in your idea sessions.
The family reunion is a great time to solidify family relationships and to ensure that these relationships continue for years to come. If you spend your down time this winter working on planning your family reunion, you will be well rewarded when the day of the event arrives.
If you’re ready to start planning your family reunion, don’t forget to reference our handy family reunions checklist!