By Lauren Galley
I understand this thought process, however I encourage all you teenagers out there to embrace the idea of family reunions and try your best to have a good time! If you walk into the situation with a negative attitude, then you will probably have a negative experience. Instead, tell yourself that you are going to use this time to learn as much about your family as possible.
Some of the best stories I’ve ever heard were told at family reunions, and I would have missed them had I not been listening. In this way, our iPhones are our biggest enemies, because it is way too easy to sit at the table and be completely tuned out to the rest of the world. Your elders, although occasionally embarrassing, are extremely wise, and you have a lot to learn from them. I always try to focus on every conversation that goes on around me, because oftentimes I will hear the best piece of advice when you least expect it.
Make sure you take lots of pictures and create many new memories. Don’t feel like you are “too cool” to be there or that you are missing out on something your friends are doing. You see your friends all the time! Try to be present in the moment and remind yourself that your family members love you, and you don’t get to see them very often, so make the most of your time together.
If you are an artsy or creative person and you know that a family reunion is coming up, you could even help with decorations or invitations! Another really awesome project would be to film some of the stories told and create a video filled with epic moments, stories and photos. Everyone always seems to be so busy preparing meals, etc… that those great moments are lost due to a lack of video and photos being taken. By helping out and making the event a celebration, everyone will enjoy the reunion even more, and you will feel as if you have accomplished something.
At the end of the reunion, make sure to get everyone’s contact information so you can send them a copy of your video. They will cherish this forever, especially those who are older and don’t have the technology or know how to create such a memory.
If the conversation is dragging on or family members get into a heated debate about a topic you are completely uninterested in, you could suggest that everyone play a game! One really fun game that is a great way to get to know everyone better, is called “Guess Who I Am.” Everyone gets a slip of paper and writes down a random fact about themselves, then puts it in a box. After everyone is done, you pass the box around and everyone takes out a paper, reads it out loud, and tries to guess who wrote it. This is an awesome way to start some interesting conversations, and you may be surprised by the crazy life your Grandma had!
The whole point of a family reunion is to have fun and catch up with everyone, so you MUST go into the event with this mindset in order to have anything positive to say about it afterwards. In the future, you will be grateful you went and had a great time. Your family members will not be around forever, so it’s important to take advantage of the time you have with them. Even if they drive you crazy, it’s only a short amount of time you are spending with them, so make the most of it, have fun, and when in doubt, play a game! Oh, and don’t forget your camera!! Taking an epic selfie with Grandma? Priceless!