A Family Affair A Family Affair By Kaleel

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					A Family Affair
By Kaleel Sakakeeny
(Pie chart at bottom)

No matter how weird we think our families are, they‟re still our
families…and we‟re apparently willing to travel long distances to get
together with them.
A 2003 study by the Travel Industry of America (TIA) tells us that
one in three adults has traveled to a family reunion in the past three
That‟s 72 million adults hitting the road to see Uncle Joe, play
horseshoes with cousin Alice and swap stories with long lost
But Edith Wagner, Editor in Chief of the Milwaukee-based
publication, Reunions Magazine says it‟s deeper than that.
“Many families,” Wagner says, “memorialize lost family members
with candle light services, or they‟ll create souvenir booklets and play
games like „autograph bingo‟ as a way for out-of-touch members or
the younger generation to get to know each other. It‟s about creating
Her advice for families planning that big reunion?
• Chose a cruise because they have “something for everyone.”
Cruises and all-inclusive resorts reduce the stress involved in
planning meals and activities, creating a worry free time to get to
know each other.
• Get creative. Reunion activities can include river rafting, tours of
cemeteries in Ireland, East African safaris, Galapagos Islands tours,
stays at dude ranches, visiting bike week in Daytona Beach, Fla., or
European trips to retrace family heritage.
• Wagner advises using a travel agent, someone with reunion-
planning experience who can handle all the logistics skillfully.
• And plan a family reunion around a milestone event like an
anniversary or wedding.
But beware: family reunions can rekindle old animosities and stir up
unresolved feelings among family members.
Dr. Larry Basirico‟s funny and wise book, The Family Reunion
Survival Guide: How to Avoid Problems With Your Family
Without Avoiding Your Family is must for anyone planning a
reunion, or attending one.
It goes a long way toward insuring family feuds stay buried.


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