This past month my sisters were in from out of state. We were gathering to place our mothers remains in her final resting place. We created our own ceremony, ( thanks to my middle sister) hired a singer to sing hymns, bought some flowers, and placed our mother next to her husband in their plot here in NJ. It was an exceptional time. We rarely see each other because of the distance between our homes so this gave us reason to gather. I am pleased that it wasn't an expensive visit either. All in all we spent very little money celebrating birthday's, and celebrating life. What I noticed was that we enjoyed our time together more by cooking together at home, watching movies, playing games and talking. We ate one meal out and bought pizza another day. The rest of the time we went sight seeing, and chatted about old times. The food was spectacular and the time, precious. My sister and her family were able to stay at a family members summer condo, saving them $250 per night at a hotel and from squishing themselves into our tiny home. Her children went sight seeing with my children and really got to spend quality time together. Our eldest sister lives in PA so she was just here for the day, but we will see her at the family reunion. :))
Next we travel to see other family members whom we haven't seen in many years. We are staying at my aunt's house because it's so difficult to get a good hotel room that allows pets. Lucky for us to have generous family members. Everyone is contributing something to this reunion in order to share in the joy of giving and spending time with loved ones. My eldest cousin will pay his guitar along with my husband the bass player, I'm sending bouquets of flowers to decorate the tables with, my eldest sister and other members are bringing food. My other cousin is opening up her home for the reunion to take place at, and my aunt and uncle are providing sleeping quarters for as many people as possible. Together we can make it a great gathering without spending ridiculous amounts of money and still spend all our time together. The money we do spend will be spent with great joy in creating this time together.
All we need is each other. Reach out to family and pose the question "can we visit?" Put differences aside, respect opinions as just that, opinions. Create a good gathering, choose love and maintain closeness with family. Our lives are rich. We already have everything we need, but sometimes we just don't see it.