Monday, November 17, 2008
Grateful for Tradtions
When I was kid we didn't have a lot as far as material things go but I do remember special traditions we had around the holidays and other traditions (like my mom telling me she loved me everyday--even when I was a teenager!) . And not just Christmas either. Traditions can be daily, weekly, monthly, yearly things not just for holidays. So naturally I have tried to implement traditions that are meaningful into our family. One important thing I have learned over time is to be flexible. Yes, traditions need to be consistent to be traditions but if it's more stress than joy it's not worth doing this year or ever, depending on the tradition. The years I have a new baby or this year with my back I scale back, and my kids usually understand and I think (or hope) they see it as compassionate. People are more important than keeping a tradition at all costs. When we have these 'crisis' we try and include the kids in the planning of the holiday--what tradition do you really want to do this year. This helps them feel a part of the process and ownership in the family.
It was Micah's turn for our Family Home Evening Activity--he taught the devotional yesterday on being thankful. When I asked him what he wanted to do tonight he said that he thought we should make turkey cookies. So with my mom's help I whipped up a batch of sugar cookies. We painted them, water and egg whites plus food coloring. (We have paint brushes set aside just for this in the cupboard and to avoid mixing colors we have brushes assigned to the different colors). This is a tradition we got from Tim's family, only they paint Christmas cookies. We have that as our tradition too but incorporated it into the painting of the turkey (and leaf) cookies! Everyone enjoyed themselves, even the teenagers. They turned out really cute, I am not sure my photos do them justice! We usually print out a Thanksgiving picture (cornucopia, pilgrim, turkey, etc.) for each person on cardstock and have everyone write what they are thankful for on it. I save these for our scrapbooks. It is fun to read over time! We may do it still. There is time. Anyway, traditions help families bond by feeling consistency which builds trust,and having fun builds the emotional savings for later. So let the laundry go for a day and create a tradition or revive one, your kids will thank you!!!