As long as families have existed, they have always gotten together for a Sunday meal, a birthday or holiday, or to celebrate a specific day, maybe someone’s birthday or perhaps Christmas, Easter or the Fourth of July.
Families always seemed to meet up at weddings and funerals, too. If you have ever watched The Walton’s you have seen how their family always got together to celebrate the various occasions that were important to them.
Today, with our society being so transient, families don’t seem to get together as often as they once used to. I know in our family there is always someone who can’t get off of work or fly home for the holiday to join the rest of the family.
The only time that you might see the rest of the family these days is at a wedding or funeral. All the more reason for families to plan a family reunion. Funerals are just not the place to catch up on what is going on with the other members of the family.
According to genealogy.com, approximately 46% of all families organize a family reunion each year. Family reunions are important because they serve to give us a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves or our nuclear family, and they reconnect us to our roots.
Family reunions should be taken seriously because we are all social animals and by going to a family reunion and interacting with your relatives you are teaching your children to become good citizens and to eventually contribute to society in a positive way.
If your family is spread across the country, or perhaps half way around world, this becomes of major importance.
Family members probably won’t be able to make it home for most holidays, so having a family reunion in the summer when they may be able to get time off will allow everyone to get together physically to see and talk to each other.
The older our elders get the more important it becomes to get together with them and let them relive their earlier years.
It is important to let them spend time with their grandchildren and great grandchildren so they can reconnect with them. My dad who is 90 just loves to get together with all of us kids, our kids and their kids.
We currently have four generations of our family alive that get together for a family reunion each year. My dad just beams when he knows we are going to this reunion and he spends time with every child, grandchild and great grandchild while he is there.
In our busy society today, where everyone scatters as they become adults, a reunion allows us to touch base with family members and find out what has been going on in their lives.
Sometimes we even meet distant family members we never knew we had. Often times we will also find those members of our extended family who share similar interests as us.
Meeting those family members with a shared interest will be fun and may serve as a basis for keeping in touch with them in the future. You will now have a group of like minded individuals across the country.
Family reunions help our children learn about where they came from. Just by being at the family reunion and listening to the stories that everyone has to tell, and by the games and other things they play at a reunion, the kids will learn about their family history.
Through the stories they will hear about the various family members, they will get some background history and flavor as to what each relative is like and what it was like for them growing up.
Family reunions are an important part of family life and should be taken seriously. If someone in your extended family organizes one, you should make every effort to attend it, both for you and your kids.
If your family has never had one, or it has been quite a while since you have had one, why don’t you take the bull by the horns and organize one yourself.