Large family vacations and reunions have been a huge part of my life. I have so many memories. The bonds that I have been able to make during those times together continues to drive my motivation to do what I do both personally and professionally.
My hubby is the one who actually encouraged me to quite my old job and take up helping other families plan trips and reunions with their families. I have been planning trips and family gatherings for so many years for my family that it seemed like a natural transition for me.
But when you are in the midst of a pandemic, it can seem that family gatherings are no longer practical or wise. But that’s not true. We don’t live in an all-or-nothing society, thank goodness. With technology being so advanced, there has never been a better time for a virtual family reunion.
Get Fired Up About Spending Time With Your Family
I get pretty fired up when I think about hanging out with my family. Maybe I am just lucky, but I have a pretty fantastic group of siblings, nieces, nephew, great-nieces, etc., that I L…O…V…E to spend time with. Whether we are a group of 2 or 200, we rock when we are together! That’s why my motto is:
The family that plays together, stays together.
Often, the thought of organizing a family reunion can seem overwhelming. And right now, in the midst of a pandemic, it doesn’t seem very practical either. I mean, the best part of a family reunion is the endless, mouthwatering food; the goofy games; and the crazy antics that go on.
Through the years, family reunions and family vacations have brought me lots of fantastic memories…as well as pounds to my waistline that I need to work off once I get home.
Most Compelling Reason People Love Getting Together With Family
There are so many reasons we love to get together. But in the end, the most compelling reason people want to gather is the people we love.
Life is short. Kids grow up way too fast…and then have their own kids who grow up way too fast. It is difficult to keep up with them. Before you know it, people leave us way too soon.
Every year, on December 31st, I ask myself, “Where did the year go?” Each year seems to go by more quickly than the last.
Now is always the best time to reconnect with your family. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
There are many reasons we enjoy coming back together time after time with our families. And just because we are having a pandemic doesn’t mean we can’t gather together…we just gather in a different way.
What is a Virtual Family Reunion?
A virtual family reunion for all intents and purposes is an online family gathering. Family reunions have always come in different shapes, sizes, and themes. A virtual family reunion…or school reunion…or reunion of friends…can be as big or as little as you desire.
With an online reunion, you can invite as many (or as few) people as you want. You never have to worry about running out of space. And no matter where they may be living around the world, family members or friends can join in.
A virtual family reunion can be as simple as a threaded FB post…or as elaborate as a week-long Hawaiian-themed series of online activities.
As I write this, I am in the middle of this exact type of online family reunion. We have a live trivia night via Zoom planned. One day we have a photo scavenger hunt. We sent out a list of Hawaiian-themed ingredients for people to use, and they have been sharing their pictures and recipes all week long. How many things can you make from SPAM?
And what’s the best secret ingredient of all? Love!
Deciding What Type of Virtual Gathering to Have
The first thing you want to take into consideration what type of reunion you want to have. Think about:
- How tech-savvy are my family?
- How many people do I want to invite?
- What activities do I want to include?
- How can I adapt games we’ve traditionally played in the past at our reunions and make them part of our new online reunion?
- What about a theme? Do we want one? If so, what should it be?
For example: We usually have a talent show or skit night. How do we adapt?
My answer for a Hawaiian-themed reunion: Ask people to submit and upload videos of their family doing the hula…or ask Uncle Ned to play his ukelele and sing “Tiny Bubbles”…or ask Aunt Frida to perform a reading of Walter the Farting Dog: Banned from the Beach. Have fun with it and be creative!
Getting Started with Your Online Family Reunion
Over the next few weeks (and blog posts), I am going to be sharing some basic tips and ideas to help you get planning your online family reunion. I’ll let you know how we organized our Hawaiian-themed reunion.
Your mission, should you wish to accept it, have some fun and plan your own virtual family gathering!
If you want to learn more about planning a virtual family reunion, you may find the following articles helpful.