Ok, I’m late as can be today, but I wanted to throw this out because I know so many people have asked about how we do our family reunions over the years.
If you haven’t heard of “8-Minute Classes” on Instagram you should check it out because they have all kinds of great things on there.
Today they are featuring a “class” I recorded all about how we plan our family reunions, which I think is kinda timely because it’s reunion planning season right now. Especially exciting since gathering has become so much safer these days!
How to Plan the Perfect Family Reunion
Of course a family reunion doesn’t just happen. Organizing that many people is tricky, and keeping everyone engaged takes work. But Oh! The relationships and bonding that can happen are so incredibly worth the trouble. Having a family reunion is the best way to celebrate the most important building block of society: the family!
4 Tips on Family Reunion Planning
1) Put a date on it.
And plan a “where” and a “when.”
Of course, the reunion won’t happen without that! We always set a date for the next reunion right after we finish the current one. That way everyone can plan accordingly.
We are lucky enough to have this place at Bear Lake that is embedded deep into our hearts where we hold our reunion each year:
But of course, any place where family gathers will do!
2) Give assignments.
In our family there are nine kids. (yes, lots of people to rotate the work!) Each of us takes a turn to plan out the reunion and we rotate each year. Of course, one family can’t “do it all,” so we make assignments. For example, during our year we had a painting project and we assigned another family to be in charge of that.
Food is another big issue at a family reunion. Together as a family decide how this will be done. Do you want to keep it easy and do low-key food? Do you have chefs in the family who want to cook more fancy things? How do you get the food to the reunion spot? Who pays? These are all good questions to discuss together to make it work.
Our family tends to love to cook, so I love some of the things they come up with!
My brother always cooks “Jonah Burgers” for his meal:
Another brother has his expertise in Japanese Curry. Another favorite.
Jobs are another big deal in a family reunion.
We do that kind of different every year, and have rewards for the “group” (made up of grandkids) who help the most:
3) Chose a Family Reunion Theme.
Each year we have a theme we unveil the first night during the “opening ceremonies.”
This helps with the cohesiveness of the reunion.
For example, one year when Max was in Taiwan serving his mission our family was in charge and we chose “Live Life to the Max” for our theme.
Everything was based around living our lives to the best of our abilities in many different ways.
I loved my sister’s theme one year when my baby sister Charity couldn’t come:
I loved this one too that was called “Turn the Hearts,”
And all the activities were based around honoring our ancestors. So many stories to share and learn.
Ok, and we can’t forget “Fifty Years of Eyrealm,” when we celebrated my parent’s 50th anniversary:
4) Establish Family Traditions.
Traditions are what ties the family together.
Probably our favorite is the first night of the reunion. We have our opening ceremonies where the theme is introduced:
We always have a calendar so people will know the schedule:
And that night we have a bonfire where the “favorite songs” are introduced:
Everyone guesses who’s song is who’s (those songs become our “playlist” for the whole reunion), and it always ends in a dance party, usually sparklers:
…and always s’mores.
We also always have some sort of family olympics:
A talent show (the kids LOVE this):
And we can’t forget Fear Factor!:
(More about that in all the reunion posts linked below.)
Every year we take a family picture.
Sure, it’s a pain. But we make it as easy as possible and love having everyone captured as they are each year.
Every family is going to be so different, of course, but hope these ideas help to create your own ideal family reunion!
Go check out that video to learn more!
You can also click HERE to see more details with recaps of all our family reunions over the years.