Keeping Relatives Happy
"One of the biggest mistakes people make with a family reunion ... is to stretch it out too long and to try to do too much," explains Dr. Ione Vargus, Emeritus Faculty Chair of the Family Reunion Institute of Temple University in Philadelphia. "Don't plan too many activities at the first one. Activities and traditions will grow over time as you have more reunions." Dr. Vargus suggests games and activities that will help you reconnect with your family rather than those that might encourage family members to go in separate directions.
Your baby can help you in your efforts to reconnect. Bring copies of your baby's portrait and ask relatives to bring copies of their own baby pictures. You can finally figure out whether your daughter inherited your father's nose or your son has your great-grandfather's ears. Trying centering a game around the pictures, like "guess the relative," and have copies to take home as keepsakes. Consider bringing disposable cameras for yourself and other family members. This way everyone can take pictures, and you won't be worried about lugging your best camera somewhere in your diaper bag or purse. These pictures will be invaluable when your kids grow up and ask about distant relatives.
- Don't plan too many activities.
- Plan games that help family members reconnect.
- Reconnect with family through your baby or child.
- Don't forget to capture special moments on film or video.