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.
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 family's needs, they still exist!
Each issue of 4 Traditions features ideas I have gathered and/or created that you can use or modify to fit your family's needs.
Kids love to play make-believe from pretending forts are their homes to becoming a character from their favorite movie and acting out a scene. This tradition is a make-believe game that you can play with them. It begins with a Leprechaun's visit and leads to a treasure box filled with goodies. Here's how to make it happen: On the day before the holiday, tell your children the fabulous tale of the fun-loving Leprechauns. Begin your story with the idea that Leprechauns remain hidden until the eve of St. Patrick's Day. Then they appear to bury their hidden treasures. If your child leaves a small-decorated box on the windowsill, the Leprechauns will fill it and bury it for your children to uncover. Use "Leprechaun Leftovers", as clues to the whereabouts of the hidden treasure. Sprinkle green glitter that leads the treasure seekers closer to their loot, then leave a miniature pail and shovel (from a local craft store) to mark the spot where the treasure is hidden. This is a great way to give your children the joy of watching you step into their world of make-believe.
Ode to Green
All day long...
Don't wake up blue, wake up green. Start with your breakfast, and make the entire day green. Have green scrambled eggs with green juice, or green pancakes with green syrup. For lunch, make green sandwiches with green jell-O or pudding, green grapes and green milk. Prepare an all green dinner with green mashed potatoes, or rice along with some green soup or pasta. Get creative and make sure that the entire day is green! Your festive dinner will only be served to those who are dressed appropriately, head to toe, all in green! Each year the outfits your family dreams up will get more outrageous. Soon, this will become one of your family's favorite holiday activities. Don't forget to snap your annual photo, all dressed in green, to include in your St. Patrick's Day tradition book.
Shamrocks . . .
In 432 St. Patrick went to Ireland as a bishop. One of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people. After nearly thirty years of evangelism, he died on March 17, 461, the day we now call St. Patrick's Day. This tradition is all about being "Little Patricks". To do this, make cookies or another simple treat with your children, then wrap the goodies in something green. Use the below links to print out shamrock notecards to tie to your goodie bags.
Leave your gifts on a porch, in a mailbox, or on a windowsill. Irish or not, your friends will be tickled green.
Count your Blessings
Luck would have it...
As St. Patrick's Day rolls around, you often hear talk about luck. Hide lucky pennies in your backyard or around the house for your children and their friends to hunt for. When each Child has found 9 pennies have them gather around. Explain that luck is not always on our side but God is always on our side. Luck can run out but He gives us blessings that can never run out.
Add this little prayer for an extra special touch: "Dear God, May each of these 9 pennies represent your blessings in our lives. I ask that you will bless us with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. In Jesus Name, amen"
Then let them know that when they live-out these blessings then they end up blessing others too! Let them loose to finnish finding the rest of the pennies. When all the pennies are found they can "count their blessings" as they count their coins.
A Green Poem
In closing here is a link to a little bit of mindless humor; a poem I wrote about the color green...