Human beings are the world’s biggest social community. From the prehistoric age to the digital era, we believe in our families, caring for them, taking responsibility for them and of course enjoying our time with them. It is these pleasant memories of family gatherings that last us a lifetime.
This engagement with our families motivates us and helps us move ahead in life. With the improvements in technology – cameras, smartphones, and storage can be afforded by everyone. As a society today, we are capturing almost every single fun event in our lives.
There are many reasons to have a family gathering: like the celebration of a milestone, strengthening of family bonding, to cherish our family culture or to connect children to the extended family.
But it goes without saying that every family event brings with it, various dynamics like politics, drama, and conflicts, quite opposite to the enjoyment they should provide. So here is a list of 9 simple ways to add the fun element into family gatherings.
All families are a mixed bag when it comes to interests and emotions. The biggest eye-sore is when family members attending an event or reunion are keeping their distance, either by sitting alone or just watching television.
Getting everyone together is of paramount importance. Introduce light-hearted games and entertainment activities that involve everyone, right from grandma, to the new kid on the block. It is best to be sensitive and caring to everyone gathered.
Create Lasting Impressions
Since almost everyone will have a smartphone or camera, encourage all to capture videos of the various family members in their different moods and avatars throughout the gathering.
Turn these videos using a free invitation maker software like InVideo, into eye-catching movies that capture joyful memories to last a lifetime. Digital sharing, by uploading on any available video platform, makes it easy for everyone, including those not able to attend, to watch these special moments.
Everybody Loves Stories!
Having everyone tell humorous stories or funny real-life anecdotes are ideal ways of breaking the ice. At any family reunion, multiple generations come under one roof after long periods.
It is an ideal place to listen to stories from grandparent’s war memories, about our ancestors or about how digitally gifted our children are today! Put everyone in the hot seat and let everyone ask them interesting questions. All in good faith, of course.
Ensure no one Brings Prejudged Ideas to the Gathering
Men just don’t like cooking. Women aren’t interested in sports. Let’s not rush into these assumptions. Steering away from controversial topics is fine, but we should open the floor to varied discussions so that all family members feel engaged and involved.
At reunions, we can uncover many surprising discoveries, like realizing that your aunt was a national level athlete, or that your cousin is building a robot or even that your grandfather is a Star Wars fan, just like you. This helps individuals to bond even beyond the gathering itself.
Bring Your Own Potluck for Sampling
Food is the best way to bond. While most of the food should be prepared or catered, at the place of the gathering, it is fun to ask all the members to get a sample dish they love to eat or are good at cooking.
Not only will this reduce the burden on the hosts, but it leads to a lot of hilarious discussions, of where they first ate the food and why they love it. It could be a simple home-made cake or fruit punch. And don’t worry, even YouTube recipes count!
Consider Unique Locations
For an annual family gathering, try considering different locations, preferably with large open spaces that can keep the children occupied. A new environment can mitigate feelings of long time animosity and bring about cheer and togetherness.
Locations could be a restaurant, children’s park, a farmhouse, a museum or even a gaming zone. Remember, a location doesn’t have to be expensive to have fun, it should just be a great ambiance which provides a little bit of fun to everyone.
Try a Themed Family Gathering
Another great idea to make family gatherings fun and enjoyable is to host a themed gathering. It could involve people dressing up in a certain way (traditional or religious), have a dance party, a Hollywood movie theme or a simple Karaoke theme.
The sky is the limit, and you must ask everyone to leave their inhibitions at the door! A themed family gathering brings about a sense of camaraderie like no other outing or gettogether, showcasing a sense of unity and why the family gels well.
Make a Live Family Tree
Ask each of your family members to bring a photograph of each of their immediate family. Pin or paste individual photographs and create your very own family tree on a large board or a wall. You can add comments about each person.
This will become a cherished memory that will stay on for generations. You can capture the entire process on video and then using an easy video editor, you can use filters, templates, stickers, or tools to ramp up the fun quotient even higher.
Creating a live family tree is a great way to get silly with your family and capture the memories!
There is no fixed definition of having fun in a family gathering. But by taking a proactive approach, doing a little advanced planning and keeping things light and entertaining, you can rest assured that your family gathering will go down as an event that all generations would look forward to attending.
Simple things like remembering the likes and dislikes of various family members, giving token return gifts, playing members’ favorite songs, creating an atmosphere of nostalgia, will bring the family close.
In today’s age of nuclear families, these events are rare, but very well appreciated. Family gatherings are about being personal, forgiving and thoughtful towards each other. Remember, every family has a story, and what better way than a family gathering to help capture it.