Friday, October 3, 2014

Making Everyday Family Traditions Easy

The thought of family traditions have such a nice ring to them.  I get visions of the Hallmark commercials at Christmas time, or all those amazing pictures being pinned on Pinterest.  But, as often as I have the intention to do something for this or that holiday or birthday, I remember too late.  I know that special times with our family are critical, but how do we make them easy and stress-free.

I knew that this was important to me, so over the past few years I have taken more of a slow and steady approach as opposed to the big holiday 'big bang' approach of everything being big and over the top.

I thought I would share a few ways that our family has implemented this approach.  Maybe some of these ideas will be a help to you.

When you have a large family, well any size family for that matter, getting quality time with your child one-on-one isn't always so easy.  But, now that I have teenagers in the house, I can run and do errands without having to load up the van and drag everybody around town.    This has opened the opportunity for individual attention.  I have 5 Littles, and there are 5 days in the work week.

I assigned each child a day.  On their 'Special Day' they get to run around town doing errands, and they get to set the table and help pass out meals.  They pick either a game or book before bed, and they get to use the much loved 'Special Day' place mat.  

Very simple, easy to do, and consistent... without a lot of work.  They look forward so much to their day.  I really enjoy spending the time with them alone.  It is nice to really see their unique personality.

Another tradition I have is singing each of them a quick song when I put them to bed.  Benaiah always gets 'Jesus Loves Me,'  Annie always wants 'You Are My Sunshine' and the other three Littles are loving 'On Top Of Spaghetti.'  This only takes a few minutes at each bedside, but we connect face to face before we say goodnight.  Does your child have a favorite song?

Here are a few more traditions.  Friday night is almost always Movie Night.  For Liberty's birthday in October we go to Amish Country.  Late September always finds us at Geckle Orchard for cider and apples.  On New Year's Eve we go to Olive Garden for appetizers and then my Husband's parents to watch the ball drop and have chocolate milkshakes.  The Fourth of July is always celebrated at my Aunt's with loads of fireworks.  Labor Day we head to Pokagon and a week of relaxation.

These are just a few of our traditions.  It's funny, but I don't even remember how a lot of these traditions got started, but they have stuck.

The great thing about these special days is that there is very little prep work on my part.  As much as I love to craft and bake, I tend to be more sporadic... when the mood strikes.  If I feel I have to do these things, they don't seem to get done.

Start slow.  Pick something your family enjoys doing and stick it on the calendar.  Maybe you start out with one night a month being game night.  Order pizza and whip up a quick yummy dessert, if you are so inclined.  After a few months you're family will be in the routine and everyone will be looking forward to it.  Since it is simple, you are likely to keep it up.

What does your family do for special days or traditions?  I would love to hear how you celebrate holidays and just ordinary days.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your family tips on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! And I thought we were the only ones who sang "You are my Sunshine" before bed! :)