Family Reunions Are Fertile Soil For Rituals

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It’s summer and all across America hundreds of thousands of people are making plans for their summer vacation with a destination of a family reunion. Yessir, families from all walks of life are packing up babies, grabbing old ladies and heading out to the family reunion where they will re-connect to their families, cultivate old memories, create new ones and celebrate being a member of their family at the family reunion.

No doubt months of planning has ensued with hilarity, arguments, storytelling of past reunions…..can’t you just picture the emails flying through cyberspace and the telephone lines buzzing planning these reunions that will go down in family history.

Magazines have been churning out tips and resources on how to plan a family reunion. Martha Stewart has tips on software to create a family album and family reunion products such as t-shirts, tote bags and buttons. There are websites to help you plan a family reunion, send out invitations to a family reunion and create a family reunion website. Family reunions are big business! Along with the normal family reunion rituals such as community cooking, relay races, sandcastle building, family hikes or fishing contests, here are a few other tips for creating memorable moments during your family reunion:

1. Create a family tree: Pack up flip chart paper, bags of markers, stickers, ribbon, glue – lots of arts and craft supplies. During the reunion each family will make their own family tree. Along with birth, death and wedding dates, add other important dates and information such as if someone is a breast cancer survivor or hiked the Grand Canyon or did something astounding, creative or courageous. Encourage family members to create a family tree piece of art. Make sure there is somewhere to post the family trees so family members can add supportive comments on each other’s trees.

2. In advance, assign different members of the family to research an ancestor; a great grandmother or grandfather, great aunt or uncle. Bring a photo of the ancestor and be prepared to tell their story to the rest of the family. Look for strengths and character in the ancestors that members of this generation display such as courage (be specific), tenacity, fortitude, resourcefulness, compassion, leaps of faith. You can go all out and get the photos blown up poster size and hang them up for the storytelling part of the reunion.

3. Celebrate each other. Draw names in advance of the family reunion. The person drawing the name, calls or meets with the relative whose name they drew and conducts an interview. Come up with 6-10 questions ranging from serious to silly such as: “What difficulty did you overcome this year and how did you do it?” or “What dreams did you make come true this year?” or “What was your most embarrassing moment in high school?” Be sure you have questions for all ages. Then, schedule time throughout the family reunion for the reporters to report.

We at Power of Rituals would love to hear your family reunion rituals. Please share them so other families will be inspired an motivated to bring your rituals to their reunions.

write by Elmer

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