Family holiday gatherings should be a time for everyone to enjoy one another’s company, reminisce about old times, and generally soak in each other’s company. Unfortunately, family gatherings don’t always go as nicely as all that; arguments, delays, and snags in plans can create family gatherings that are more frustrating than fun. Thankfully, you don’t have to feel stuck with a less-than-wonderful family gathering. If you want to know how to plan a great family gathering, follow these excellent tips perfect for people in the active adult community.
Tip #1: Predict Potential Problems and Solve Them Before They Start
As anyone living in an active adult community knows, sticky issues tend to pop up at family gatherings. These can range from expectations for child-minding, how long people will be staying, who is paying for dinners or outings, and so on.
The best way to prevent these types of family gathering problems is to stop them before they start by preemptively resolving them. For example: if you know that your family puts off the topic of child-minding until the children are underfoot at the gathering, make sure that there is a babysitting plan established before the festivities begin.
Tip #2: Establish Ground Rules for the Behavior of Others (and Yourself!)
Part of being a mature adult is knowing that sometimes, people will disagree or otherwise act in a way that we don’t like. However, disagreements should never turn into arguments or unpleasant discussions. Before any family gathering, establish a set of ground rules to keep these types of unpleasant incidents to a minimum. These rules should reflect common decency, such as a ground rule asking that specific topics stay in private conversations rather than group family time; or reminding people that it’s okay to ask for controversial topics to be changed.
Tip #3: Ask for Feedback and Suggestions but Don’t Get Bogged Down in Them
One of the best tips for planning a great family gathering is letting your family have input on the event. For instance, if you’re expecting the gathering to revolve around an activity, you should allow your family to give suggestions so that you have an idea of their interest. However, don’t let yourself get too bogged down in the feedback—or you’ll find yourself trying to please everyone at the same time.
Remember: Family gatherings don’t have to be unpleasant or stressful. Follow the above tips for a more stress-free event.