How to Survive a Family Reunion
June 6, 2016
A smooth, argument-free family reunion requires some clever, thoughtful behavior from the host
How to Survive a Family Reunion
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.
Change the Subject
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Before the reunion starts, make sure you have plenty of random conversation starters well-prepared. That way, when an awkward moment or enormous argument is about to arise, you can sweep in and smoothly move the conversation away from disaster.
Cook Excess Food
Hungry people are more likely to argue than perfectly replete ones. If you run out of food at a family reunion, there will be arguments, everyone will be blaming each other, and every family member will be grumpy. Make sure you have excess amounts of food to avoid this becoming one of the many points of tension.
Create a Seating Plan
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Whether you’re going away for the weekend or are hosting the family reunion in your own home, you should always divvy up the tasks that need to be done. Make sure you give everyone something to do, and try to assign something that they’ll be happy with, and can excel at.
Feed the Kids First
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Get Some Space
Wherever you’re having your family reunion, make sure there are excess amounts of space. When the inevitable heated discussions and arguments occur, everyone will need to cool off and escape each other’s company momentarily by finding a quiet place they can go to calm down, away from the rest of the family.
Hide the Spirits
Allowing family members to drink all day may seem like a good way to create a relaxed atmosphere and make sure everybody is happy, but it is actually a way to make people lose their inhibitions and bring up all the sensitive subjects and no-go discussions which they had previously been (thankfully) too sensible and cautious to start on.
Keep the Menu Simple
Hosting or helping to host a family reunion is stressful enough with all the family feuds, relationship challenges, and highly strung emotions, without forcing more hard work and panic on yourself by setting about making intricate, challenging, complex dishes.
Plan Your Exit
Whether you’re hosting or attending this year’s family reunion, make sure you know long before you arrive when and how you’re going to leave. You’ll need a good excuse, and a deadline, and make sure you stick to the times and the story so that you can make your way out without upsetting anyone or causing an argument.
Share the Budget
Don’t begin your family reunion in a passive aggressive mood as a result of feeling like you’ve paid for more than your fair share of the event. Be up front with your family members about the cost of the party, and make sure that it’s split evenly and fairly between you all.
Skip the Games
Playing games may sound like a great way to bring everyone together and entertain the whole family, but anything competitive should definitely be avoided. Bringing out everyone’s competitive side is going to lead to arguments and tears.
Small Wine Glasses
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