Friday, January 3, 2014

Before 2013 Fades Away

The thing about creating family traditions is that they have to work for your family.  I say this because there are oodles of ideas out there of things you could do.  Anyone who has ever spent time on Pinterest knows this to be true.  Yet I think the trick is not worrying about finding the perfect thing for your family to do, but rather to find some way of marking certain events as a family in a way that works for you and that reflects the stage your family is in. 

For instance, on New Year's Eve we had sparkling apple cider (apple juice for Esme) in
fancy glasses with supper and ice cream for dessert.  That alone is enough to make a day memorable in our house.  In fact, I'm pretty sure using fancy dishes and/or adding ice cream to anything is a good way to celebrate and mark a milestone, and the combination of these two things, as easy as they were, will likely make their way into our family's New Year's Eve traditions.  As the kids get older we'll probably add games or a movie, but again, at least for me, the goal in creating traditions is not to make things complicated.

This year we also tried out the idea for a Praise Party.  Decorating the tubes was a lot of fun, but probably the most fun was had when we shook our praise makers and the noodles came shooting out everywhere.  It turns out our glue wasn't sticky enough.  We did try to hot glue the ends on again, but that didn't work either.  Once again, there was noodle confetti everywhere.  It goes without saying that the kids thought this was awesome, and it was quite hilarious.  This activity might not make it into our "do every year category" but it certainly was a memory-maker.

For New Year's Day, we watched the Rose Parade, caught up on laundry and went swimming.  That's the second year we've gone swimming on January 1, so I guess that is becoming a family tradition too. 

Since it's so easy to live at such a fast past that we neglect taking the time to remember where we've been, I've included an activity below for reflecting on your year as a family.  This idea also comes from and you can find the full activity plan here.  You could easily do this as a couple if your kids aren't quite old enough yet, adapt the questions to fit your family if needed, or make it into a scrapbook of some sort.  However you do it, I think this a good, simple, and doable way to pause for a minute, and think about what happened in the past year as you begin the New Year. 

You can say this prayer as you begin: God, we thank you for your presence in our lives this past year.  Amen.

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