Throw A Family Reunion Without Breaking the Bank

You don't need to spend your entire 13th month pay just to impress your friends and relatives

Photography: Vincent Coscolluela (Main Photo)

Are you the assigned host this year? Whether you're working on a big gathering or an intimate celebration with relatives from abroad, avoid the stress with proper planning and a quick to-do list. Your loved ones would surely appreciate a great ambiance, a clean space, and a bunch of stories over good food. Get started with these tips:

1. Finalize your guest list.

Given that it's a family reunion, are you sure you can accommodate everyone? Draw the line to which degree should be coming to the party. Are you inviting your second cousins, too? We're sure they would understand if you're hosting a simple get-together with just close relatives. You may also want to consider hosting another party just in time for the New Year.

2. Use the Internet to invite people. 

With Facebook, Instagram, e-mail, and the different apps on our phones, it's easier to send out invites! Ditch the cards and send electronic invites instead. Send an e-mail to your invitees, then set up a Facebook event page to keep them updated with the details. You can also have a group chat on Viber for quick reminders.

3. Choose a theme.

There's something about the holidays that makes many people want to throw on a costume and have fun. Whatever it is, it certainly makes for a more fun party! When it comes to choosing a theme, why not pick the most popular one in the family? Doing so makes getting ready and finding a costume easier. Consider going for a Hawaiian theme, a Filipino fiesta, or even a color-themed party.

RL Tip: You may want to stick to a simple theme to make decorating the home easier, too!

4. Go potluck.

Make your party a true family affair by going the potluck route. It's also a good way to share the food cost. On your event page, have the guests pick what they want to bring to the table. However, as the host or hostess—or punong-abala—you can also assign the items they can bring. Divide the assignments according to this list:

  • Appetizer
  • Main
  • Pasta
  • Dessert
  • Drinks
  • Snacks

5. Leave some room for spontaneity. 

While having a program of activities is good, keep in mind that you don't have to plan every minute of the party. It's okay to have a schedule, a list of games to play, even a sequence of performers for the night. But do remember that reunions are special gatherings where everyone can catch up with one another. Let them talk, share stories, and simply laugh the night away. When the room starts to go silent, go ahead and gather everyone for a round of games. Simply play it by ear and don't forget to enjoy the celebration, too!

PHOTOS: Vincent Coscolluela (Main, 2, and 3) | Pat Martires (1)

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