Image courtesy of flickr
The problem with families is that they can drift apart. It is without intention or malice, but sibling’s lives head in different directions. Before they know it, the only time their paths cross is at weddings and funerals. It is our job as parents to try to prevent it from happening. It isn’t only siblings that can lose touch; there are other family members such as aunts, uncles, and cousins to consider. When was the last time you saw all of your relatives? It makes you think!
Maybe it is time to arrange a huge get-together so that people can relax and re-acquaint with each other. It needn’t be a formal bash with a sit-down meal and speeches; just a relaxed atmosphere where they can all reunite.
If you want to arrange a family get-together that your kids will never forget, here are some ideas that will help.
Trace Family Members
You might be a technophobe, but now is the time to grit your teeth and learn how to use a computer. Social networks can help you to track down people that you haven’t thought about in years. Millions of people have a facebook account; your relatives may be among them.
You also need to look for them on search engines. Enter your name to see what they come up with; you might be surprised by the results. The people you are trying to trace may have left digital footprints for you to follow.
Use An Occasion
It will help if you use an occasion as an excuse for the party. You cannot use a birthday or anniversary because that puts the focus onto one or two people; exactly the opposite of what you need to achieve here. All Hallows Eve, for example, is an ideal event. It is common to all of us and people love Halloween fancy dress whether they are young or old. Fancy dress parties always go off with a bang whatever the occasion, so it might be an idea to build it into your plans.
Handwritten invitations are best in my humble opinion. Everybody loves to receive a letter that isn’t demanding payment; buy or design some bespoke stationery for your event. Here are a few things to include on the invitation.
- Reason For The Party
- Start Time
- Food & Drink Availability
- Nearby Hotels
- Space For A Personal Comment
There will probably be other things to include that you will discover as your plans progress.
The invitations should go in the post weeks if not months in advance of the party. People must get the event in their diary early. You should also contact your guests by email and on social media to ensure that they receive the message. There will be a few who will not attend under any circumstances, but most people will be delighted at the idea.
Where To Hold The Party?
It is best if you hire a function room rather than hold the party at your home. Many clubs have such places for hire, and they have an advantage over village halls because there is already a well-stocked bar. I advise you to hire a room because it is neutral territory where you can enjoy the party as much as everybody else. There is often no charge for the venue in clubs because the owners want people to buy drinks from them. As long as you clean the room afterwards, it could cost nothing.
Hungry guests are not happy guests, so make sure there is plenty of food for them to enjoy. Buffets are ideal for occasions where people spend their time mingling. Professional caterers understand better than you the food that people enjoy, so maybe you should pay them to provide it. It will also relieve you of much stress if someone else takes on the responsibility. You can spend the day looking forward to it instead of working tirelessly in the kitchen.
Get The Party Swinging With Top Entertainment
In addition to good food, your guests need plenty of drinks and top entertainment. Here are a few ideas that will get the bash off to a brilliant start.
- It is a brilliant idea to set up a projector and screen in the room to run a slideshow of photographs old and new as your guests arrive. You could ask people to email images of their own to you beforehand; there might be quite a collection for you to display. People will gather around the screen and reminisce; it never fails.
- From 7pm to 9pm, hire a children’s entertainer who will show the youngsters how to dance to some classic kid’s tunes. Who can forget ‘The Court Of King Caractacus’ or ‘Big Fish Little Fish’? Even the parents will find themselves stacking imaginary shopping trolleys! That might be confusing to you, but you will understand on the day; trust me.
- From 9pm onwards, let the party belong to the adults. They will all be in a fantastic mood after watching the kids have fun. The choice of entertainment is yours. Perhaps you could hire a local band to do a couple of sets and have a disco to fill in the rest of the time.
At the end of the evening, as long as everybody behaves, you will all leave in a jolly mood. Your children will have met people who they never knew existed and older children who flew the nest will have met up once more. Though we live in a commercial world of instant gratification, it is the people in our lives who hold the only real value. That may not be obvious to you right now, but one day it will be. Life is too short for petty arguments and family splits. Get everyone together and try to re-establish the family ties that were once strong. It might be the last time they all meet, who knows what life has in store for us all?