Timmy walks along the beach, stranded on the island, his parents feared dead, all the while not noticing a pair of yellow, glinting eyes in the green foliage of the jungle behind him….
And so my kids’ bedtime story resumes, the one I make up on the spot, the one that continues for nights on end until I’m bored with the story and decide to put that baby to bed, despite the kids’ heckling and poo-pooing for more. The kids love this nightly ritual. No storybook entrances them like oral stories of knights and princesses, pirates and dragons, clowns and fairies, sometimes all in the same tale. It is one of our traditions, a celebration of innocence and awe and wonder and everything that childhood brings.
Families are blessed by traditions and celebrations. Yes, they take time, and definitely imagination and energy, but they bring a sense of belonging and intimacy.
I know of one family that celebrates each child by giving them “their night.” That’s what they call it—“my night.” Once a week, each kid gets an extra half hour to spend with mom and dad after (and this is key) the other kids are put to bed. Yippee! One-on-one with Mom and Dad! Yeah, the dishes might not get done til morning sometimes, and the newspaper may have to wait. But boy won’t these little kids have great memories growing up, not to mention a special, close bond with their parents.
What traditions and celebrations do you hold dear?
Or perhaps you’d like to develop new ones. Here are some ideas:
- Friday night family fun night
- Sunday picnics
- Board game night
- Bedtime stories, even for the teenagers
- Dinner with the family around the table
- October pumpkin patch visits
- Monthly potluck with friends and neighbors
- July Celebration of the Fireflies
- Family prayer and devotions
- First day of spring party
- Monthly family volunteer day
- Mom and Dad’s (ahem!) night
Regardless of what traditions, rituals, and celebrations you incorporate into your busy lives, the fact that you do so demonstrates love, loyalty, and security.
What are some of your family traditions, rituals, and celebrations? Leave your comments in the box below.