Since the Baby Boomer generation has redefined everything, including retirement, a plethora of surveys have been issued to members of this fast-growing group, to learn about trends in everything from exercise habits, home and decorating trends, and more.
In 2010, Allstate Financial conducted a study to find out the Top 10 Activities that soon-to-be-retirees planned to pursue. At the top of the list was travel, followed closely by spending time with friends and family.
As families have been separated by jobs and other circumstances, often across the country (sometimes around the world), “quality time with family” has become a harder goal to achieve.
Family reunions make the goal a little bit easier, which is why over the past two decades, reunions have become big business, with experts, planning guides – even a magazine! – dedicated to the activity.
Why host a family reunion? As family sizes have shrunk, the days of multiple siblings and cousins has dwindled as well. And as the childbearing years have moved from early 20s a few generations ago, to 30s and 40s today, it is increasingly difficult to share family stories and heritage with the younger set.
Just as genealogy offers a glimpse of connections previously unknown, family reunions provide the perfect opportunity to meet or get re-acquainted with family members, and to share stories about heritage that are an important part of an individual’s identity.
Formulating a plan.
If your family is large or spread out, experts suggest planning one to two years ahead of the reunion, to allow ample time for all members to save money, schedule vacation, book travel and accommodations, and mentally prepare for the event.
Organizing the event.
One person may be able to manage planning and organizing a small family reunion, but larger events – or those that include more elaborate themes or activities – often require a committee. Often, the “committee” is a group of family members who have already kept in touch with each other, and who agreed that a reunion would be a worthwhile investment of time and expense.
Let themes and interests guide your planning.
Is there a particular activity or subject that “defines” your family? Perhaps the eldest member enjoyed sailing, in which case a reunion cruise might be in order. Amusement parks often offer special packages to families who are hosting a reunion at their venues. Hotels, convention centers and parks also are popular facilities for family reunions.
Use online tools.
As with most everything else, the Internet has made keeping in touch with family members (reunion attendees) faster and easier than ever before. Evite and Facebook both afford users the ability to invite, keep track of RSVPs and send reminders, agendas, even links to travel and accommodations, maps, and more.
You’ll have time to lay the foundation for a perfect family reunion, and perhaps enlist the advice of neighbors who have already organized their own. Windsong communities are home to neighbors with similar life-stage experiences and interests, and who find that their new, carefree lifestyles offer the perfect opportunity to take on a super-sized project like planning a family reunion.
A comfortable, well-appointed community clubhouse is also a great place to host a meeting of the Organizing Committee, or to host a mini gathering throughout the year.
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!