In this new time, where everyone is in their “own space” doing their “own thing,” maintaining family connections have taken a back seat to keeping up with family on the latest social media app or totally “dissing” the family for a vacation deal found on Groupon on LivingSocial.

However, we forget the importance of the Family Reunion.  It’s not just a great time to have some of Emmer Jean’s caramel cake made with Big Ma’s recipe or Legia’s Potato Salad perfected over the years from a combination of Momma’s and Uncle Carey’s recipe.  It is a time to preserve the family dynamic!

Personally, it is a lot of work!  Finding a location, creating a theme, buying and preparing food as well as securing entertainment is a huge task to do without pay while begging family to participate…after they stated they wanted to do this.  It is INDEED a thankless job.  I’m busy, my family’s busy and the world is moving very fast.  But that is just the reason why we need to have family reunions.

Family reunions are a time when you create intergenerational relationships that benefit us all.  Older family members receive energy from the younger members and our youth learn from the wisdom and experience of our elders.  In our family, the children always enjoy hearing stories about their parents from their grandparents.  Additionally, they enjoy stories from the “olden days.”  It gives our youth a first-person narrative on their personal history, obstacles their family have overcome and triumphs they’ve enjoyed.  It is very empowering and helps build their self-esteem.  For me, I gain strength from the fact that my grandmother raised eight children of her own while raising another family.  She was an ardent multi-tasker before everyone was using that word daily.  Additionally, it is an opportune time to rekindle relationships.

And as all families, there is dysfunction, which is generally the reason family members do not make it a priority to attend reunions.  Well, ALL families have “dysfunction.”  Experts on all the family reunion websites state that you must push through the dysfunction and ignore “back-handed” compliments, rolling eyes and petty arguments.

So, the B.S. aside, start saving $10 a week now, so you can attend the family reunion in two years because even though you said you didn’t want to come, when you see the pictures on Facebook and Instagram, you are going to wish you had made it!

Enjoy your Family!  Continue the Tradition! Go to the Family Reunion!  You know you love them!

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