As Anton Ego put it in the movie Ratatouille, "... you know what I'm craving? A little perspective. That's it. I'd like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?"
Traditions do not have to make our world even more hectic! It's not about doing more... it's about doing less! It's about doing what matters!
Make sure the traditions you do are one's that promote values and have a purpose. Maybe it's time to say good buy to the ones that keep you so busy that you don't have time to connect with your loved ones.
Throughout the years I have come to have a deep respect for the role family rituals and traditions have on the healthy state of our family. They make us spend time together, they provide opportunities to show how much we care and they provide an optimal setting for teaching values. Because of them we as a family celebrate life together often as well as stay close to extended family and friends. Some of our traditions help us create a unique family history. Others bring together the generations and help us organize our sometimes busy lives. But best of all I feel that having family rituals and traditions are like an insurance policy for our children.
For many years I worked as a Family Consultant with Once Upon A Family and picked up a few ideas. Although traditions in our home have had seasons of success and seasons of rest or have had to be modified and/or changed to fit our families needs, they still exist!
Each issue of 4 Traditions features ideas I have gathered that you can use or modify to fit your family's needs. The BOLDED Traditions are close variations to traditions my family has experienced.
New Year's Fortune Cake
For the bakers...
Try baking a New Year's Fortune Cake. It makes no difference if the cake is made from a box or an old family recipe, as long as everyone is involved. Dad can beat the eggs, mom can melt the better, and little sis can stir the batter. Once the cake has been baked, cut small slits and insert some New Year's fortune charms. Frost the cake to cover the slits, and serve! Charms can be found at any local bead or craft store. Look for charms that represent predictions for the coming year (a heart for love, a suitcase for travel, and a coin for riches). If they are small you may want to attach a tiny ribbon, so they won't be missed. With each piece of cake, you not only get a delicious treat, but also a fortune to start off the New Year. Everyone will look forward to this delightful tradition for years to come.
New Year's Candlelight Ceremony
Peeks, Valleys and Resolutions...
New Year's Eve is the best time for reflecting on the past, as well as contemplating new beginnings. On New Year's Eve, set the table with a special candle for each person at your celebration, and lower the lights. One by one, each person lights someone else's candle and shares a special memory or major achievement that the other person has accomplished during the past year. They may recount a hard earned baseball victory or tell the tale of a long awaited promotion. It is then the honored person's opportunity to share their New Year's Resolutions with the rest of the group. This tradition is a wonderful way to share in each other's trials and triumphs from the past year and to lend support for future dreams and goals.
New Year's Family Photo Collage Party
New Year's Day is a great time to start a new tradition that will record your family's history. Set aside a few hours to collage photos into a family album. Together select one to four pictures from each month of the year that highlights the ways in which you celebrate life together (cheering at a soccer match, Thanksgiving at Grandma's, or the annual summer camping trip). Then, print and create a two-page collage of the past year. A family album is a wonderful way to instill a sense of belonging... to show that those you love are a very important part of a very important group... your family. All family members can add their unique, imperfect and precious touch to the two pages and in ten years you will have a twenty page keepsake that will be treasured for a lifetime.
For a really memorable New Year's get together, throw a "Hopes and Dreams" bash. Invite all of your guests to bring a symbolic object representing a goal, hope or dream they have for the upcoming year. It could be a miniature version of a car, keys to a new house, a smashed cigarette (to stop smoking), a baby, or a symbol of a hobby someone wants to take up. Have everyone drop these objects into a basket or bowl and keep there until after dinner. Keep your guests in suspense, and don't let them know what will become of their mysterious objects. After dessert, pass the bowl around and ask each person to select something, then guess who brought it and why. You'll be surprised by what some people reveal. Who would have ever guessed that an uncle wanted to try the flying trapeze! Hand out prizes for those who guessed correctly.
A Prayer 4 U
Prayers that bless you with NEWNESS...
Praying is powerful! Click the link below to find a NEW YEAR'S greeting that includes prayers you can pray for yourself and/or for others. Prayers for NEWNESS!