How to Survive a Family Reunion

A smooth, argument-free family reunion requires some clever, thoughtful behavior from the host
Dinner Guest


Make sure you're own your best behavior for your family reunion this summer.

If you’re having a family reunion this summer, whether it’s a weekend away or an afternoon party in your own home, it’s likely to be a challenging event. At every big family get-together there will be arguments, heated discussions, probably a few tears (hopefully from one of the kids), and also lots of smiles. It will be an emotional time, but there are certain tips and tricks to help you navigate this stressful event, and make sure it goes as smoothly as possible.

How to Survive a Family Reunion (Slideshow)

For a successful family reunion, you need to be a master in the art of staying calm, and engaging in safe small talk. Taking deep breaths, having a moment or two to yourself, and resisting turning to that bottle of wine when things are becoming challenging will all help your own personal experience of the reunion. But you need to also try and do everything you can to facilitate a smooth afternoon for the rest of your family.

Make sure the day doesn’t start filled with tension and begrudging emotions by ensuring that the budget is split evenly, tasks are delegated fairly and equally, and everybody is catered for. By starting things off on the right foot, the reunion hopefully won’t descend into chaos in a matter of minutes. You also need to plan your exit before the day starts: Make sure the end time of the event is set, and that your excuse for leaving or sending everyone away is clarified and acceptable. Then you will at least be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, in case the reunion takes a turn for the worst, and you feel you can’t cope for one moment longer.

Read on to find our top tips for surviving your family reunion, and hopefully transforming what you expect to be a stressful day into a tasty, relaxed get-together.

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