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Why You Should Plan a Family Reunion

The importance of making memories with your extended family.

Summer is the perfect time for a family reunion
Credit: Getty Images

July is Family Reunion Month–a great reminder for all of us about the importance of being with loved ones. Time with family is truly one of God’s great blessings.

Now that our sons are grown and have families of their own, we have to be intentional about spending time together. One of our sons teaches at a college and two of our sons are in ministry, so we have to plan around their (and their wives’) hectic work schedules. Add in school calendars for the grandchildren, our business and my crazy writing projects and deadlines, and it takes some real dedication to make time together happen. 

But it’s so much fun when it all comes together. We’re already planning a trip to Disney World for all of us. Having my children and grandchildren under one roof for a week makes my heart so happy!

Summer’s Simple Pleasures for Family Fun

Family vacations are fun and a great way to bond, but a family reunion is also an awesome way to span the generations and to pass down the stories and recipes from those who came before us.

When I was just a little girl, I remember those times at my Granny and Grandpa’s house. Long rows of tables were set up in the front yard, and relatives from near and far arrived laden with their family-famous fudge, potato salad or other bounty fresh from the garden. Grandpa’s pound cake nestled next to Granny’s shortbread, surrounded by a variety of pies, candies and cookies.

Introductions were made as family members arrived with a new spouse who hadn’t yet met the extended family. Babies were admired. Laughter ruled the day as “Do you remember when…?” stories were told. And, often, hymns were sung as evening settled across the mountains, sweet harmonies drifting on the breeze. 

It was a time for great-grandparents to sit with babies in their arms, to get hugs from grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousins. It was a time to celebrate “us,” to see the similarities in facial features, mannerisms and other traits that only belonged to our family.

But best of all, it was a time for stories of faith to be told, to hear about what God meant to each of them and about a great-great-grandmother who prayed for her children, grandchildren and future generations. 

Those were precious memories from my childhood, moments of knowing I belonged to a special family, and times that I can pass down to my own children and grandchildren. 

As it says in my Just 18 Summers novel, “Sometimes the days feel really long, but just remember, the years are really short.” Don’t miss them.

Attend your family reunion or set one up if it doesn’t exist. Make some memories together. You’ll be so glad you did.  

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