Family Reunions–Happy Memories Created By Appointment

Ancestor Family, Extended Family, Immediate Family Reunions

Family reunions have been going on in my family since before I was born. My mother’s family and my father’s family had huge ancestor reunions. I remember them when I was little; I remember hugging lots of people I didn’t know. Actually, to a child, these were all pretty boring–unless my mother was the Planning Hostess for the year.

My mother planned things like Luaus with Hawaiian food, and everyone wore muumuus and Hawaiian shirts (well, of course no everyone, but lots of people.) She held it in our big back yard and had our Hawaiian neighbors furnish some authentic food like poi, and there was lots of pineapple.  I explain more of her family history reunions in my post Family History Reunions.


Trying to get everyone together for a Family Picture.

 Families are a lot of work. But they are the most important work we can do in this life.

We are reminded that so much in this world is leading us away from families and values, so efforts are needed to reverse these forces. In such times how do we fight to keep families together?  I was reading some research on families and family values. The author said something like,
 Commitments to family and values are the basic Cause in life. Nearly everything else is Effect. Strong families have a positive effect on society and children, and the opposite is also true.

I’m going to tie that into Family Reunions because I think they strengthen family, give us  good opportunities to pass on values, love and togetherness as we make some of the WORK of families FUN.

backyard barbecue 2-001

Grandma Nina’s annual Family Backyard Barbecue with her famous hamburgers, salads, homemade ice cream and her dark chocolate cake–secret recipe!

Along these lines I remember hearing a quote by Barbara Bush in her book, Reflections: Life After The White House: ”

Barbara Bush

As important as your obligations as a doctor, lawyer or business leader will be, you are a human being first. And these human connections with spouse, with children and with friends are the most important investments you will ever make. Your success as a family, our success as a society depends not what happens at the White House, but what happens inside YOUR house.”

I really like that her advice!


Last year at this conference, I presented my Grandma’s Camp Ideas. My blog is titled “Happy Memories are Created by Appointment.” I want to repeat the importance of having happy memories. I have known many, many people who have too few happy memories, and I find they are troubled and unhappy people. I have said before that I think there should be a diagnosis for it called HMDD Happy Memory Deficit Disorder!

I think Family Reunions are another way that proves Happy Memories Can Be Created By Appointment! It takes effort; it takes time; it takes creativity, but it is an important, long-lasting use of our time and energies! In my family I often refer to them as  Family Get-Togethers or Family Get-aways, rather than Family Reunions, because my mother had so many family parties and barbecues, and fun times, that we didn’t need a RE-union. But these activities are the best way I know to keep the family close, happy, and unified–therefore they are more Family Union Time than Re-Unions–but  it is not the term that is important, it is  the time!


Family Reunions get everyone doing the same activities together and all energy seems to unite together.

I heard one young mother say she had 10 siblings, and for their annual family reunion, they always had a theme.  Last year it was clowns. She said dressed like a clown, participating in the games and activities, there was no place or time for her to feel irritated at her mother because she hadn’t paid enough attention to her as a child,(being one of the youngest children, she felt neglected); she couldn’t hold a grudge to the sister who always teased her and bossed  and irritated her. She said all of those feelings were gone as they just had fun together.

Family-Union-Time makes a difference in the life of a child and adult! It is one remedy for HMDS!

Next Post:  Destination Family Reunions