Almost everyone has a family, either biological, or in any other form. People have a sense of belonging and being one people. To celebrate this identity takes honoring togetherness, which can be manifested in a family reunion where people from the family tree join and share a good time together. This can be either regular, or done occasionally to mark special events in the family. There are different reasons for having a family get together.
Keeping in Touch
The majority of family reunions are organized as a means for members to keep in touch with one another. This is especially important if your family is spread across the country, or even the globe. In such a case, it is unlikely that all of your family members can attend all holiday gatherings. Though you may keep in touch through email or by phone, nothing beats a personal gathering.
Another reason to hold a reunion is that it provides a means for younger family members to learn about their heritage. In such a case, your elders will lead the reunion with stories about the start of the family tree. Depending on your own unique heritage, you may hear personal stories about war, struggle and immigration.
It is not uncommon for family members to lose touch with one another, especially if they are not immediately related. A reunion can help you reconnect with long-lost cousins, aunts, uncles or anyone whom you have not kept in touch with over the years. It may be possible to find out about family members you did not know you even had, such as distant cousins or younger family members. Bonds are often re-strengthened during reunions, reminding you to take a step back out of your busy schedule and remember what is important in life.
From time to time, when families throw up a family reunion, they want it to be an event to remember. This is easy to achieve if you can figure out something unique to bring fun to the event. There are so many games you can try out as a family, either a game for the kids or for everyone in the family can be a good way to have fun together and make the event memorable.
Frisbee Golf with a Twist – Frisbee golf is such a fun sport to play. Make it super unique by creating your own ‘course’, split the family into teams, and at each ‘hole’ have a fun, family fact, trivia question, or mind game for each small group to complete before moving on to the next hole. Instead of keeping score, the fun becomes learning more about your family and building friendships.
Balloon Stomp – This game might get a little rough, so be prepared :). Blow up balloons, tie one to each participant’s ankle, then go around and try to pop everyone else’s balloon. Whoever has the last un-popped balloon is the winner! Fun!
Glows Lawn Bowling – I cannot even believe how fun this looks! It’s so simple. Fill up some old plastic bottles with water and food coloring and create your own mini bowling alley! Make your own bowling game in the dark using glow sticks! Any participant will love the added challenge of playing in the dark! Ha!
Bingo – Bingo is a classic game that never grows old! Play a few games to really get the party started! Don’t forget fun and silly prizes for the winners!
Not all the while will family reunions give you the best experience, not all will be up to expectations. Sometimes people will really piss you off with their wicked behavior or negative believes. However, what matters is how you handle the situations and avoid confrontations whenever possible, here is how.
Don’t take it personally.
“In family settings, people are particularly prone to personalize disagreements and other problems,” says Johnson. Remember that, though the problematic person is really bothering you, he or she is probably not actually aiming to spoil your holiday.
Address behavior, not character
In talking with Uncle Bill, says Johnson, the key thing is to let him know that you are bothered by specific behaviors — you’re not judging his character or opinions: “When you tell those kinds of jokes, I feel uncomfortable,” or “Sometimes you kind of take charge of the conversation in a way that makes it hard for me to express myself.”
Embrace family differences
“There are as many different visions of reality in a family as there are people,” says Johnson. The fact that not everyone agrees with you about Cousin Sarah’s behavior and what to do about it shouldn’t stop you from stating your truth, but it shouldn’t make you sore at your relatives either.