Friday, April 22, 2016

S is for Souvenirs

Assemble small Souvenirs for the children to take home with them as a remembrance. For a swim party, give away water-spouting frogs they’ve played with in the pool. Order temporary tattoos (they can even be personalized) ahead of time so the kids can have fun accessorizing! The kids will remember the reunion more clearly if they have something to take home with them.

Look to the theme of your reunion for tie-in souvenirs (see my blog entry on 4/11/16, I is for Imagination for thoughts on theme). They don’t need to be expensive or elaborate, and if you wish, ask for donations from the guests to take care of the cost.

The ages of the children make a difference in what type of souvenirs to have on hand. Letting the child or teen make their own choice out of several items will give them more satisfaction. That way they’ll be taking home something they will enjoy, even if it is a small item.

Another way to handle it is to ask participants to bring something to use in a type of white elephant gift exchange. This would be for the older guests, as little ones might not understand the taking away of a gift they’ve picked out.

You may have played this game at a holiday party. Everyone brings one item, often a hideous knick-knack or something they just don’t want to use anymore. Each person draws a number and picks one of the wrapped items off a table. They open it and the second person either takes that item away from them, or takes a new item off the table. The game progresses in this manner until all the gifts are spoken for. The last person gets to choose out of all of the gifts.

At one reunion I went to, grandma was downsizing and brought a lot of costume jewelry and small items from her travels to the reunion. The children got to pick through the display and take what they would like home with them. It’s a way for grandma to feel good about her things going to someone in the family, and the children know it belonged to grandma, so that gives them a sense of connection and memory when they use whatever they have chosen.

Any way you plan it, it comes down to making the memories last. I have a friend who says that she likes to buy something from every place she visits, even if it is a small item, because it helps her remember the trip and what she saw or did. The same goes for souvenirs from your reunion. The white elephant would be great for adults, and if you don’t want silly, hideous things like at the holiday party at work (where I actually picked a white elephant that looks like it came from India), specify that the item is to be something unique to the city or state where they live.

Above all, have fun and be creative!

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