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!
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.
Hand in Hand Photo
Father's Day is the perfect time to take a photo of Dad's hand with your children's hands resting in his palm. Over the years, these photos will record the growth and change in your children, and they will hold memories that dad will cherish forever. Take this same photo every year and print one copy to place in a Father's Day book. Your children and their father can even add signatures, which will also change as the years go by. Everyone will look forward to the annual photo and Father's Day will not be complete until the picture is taken.
The ABC Book
A great way to let Dad know how much you love him is to create an ABC Book. This is a perfect activity to do with small children who are learning their ABC's. Make a small book (6 inches square) with 26 pages and a cover of card weight paper that is decorated with your child's artwork. An easy way to assemble it is to punch three to five holes on the left side of each sheet of paper, stack them all together, then lace ribbon through the holes and tie it at the top. Ask your children to think of things they love about their Dad or activities they enjoy doing with him. Find something that corresponds to each letter of the alphabet. For example, A is for Angel games "I love going to Angel games and eating hotdogs with Dad." Use a ticket stub, photograph or your child's drawing to adorn this page. Older children can work on this together with the younger ones to create a gift Dad will look for ward to receiving each year and cherish forever.
Frequent Father Card
Make a credit card for Dad that will soon become the most valuable card in his wallet. This is called the Dates with Dad card. List every month of the year on the backside, and use it to schedule and record one special outing with Dad every month. Each child will have to present his/her own card to Dad as a Father's Day Gift if they want to reserve that special time together. Dates with Dad could be whatever the two of them want to do together. An all day fishing trip, an afternoon at the movies, help on a special hobby, or a special Breakfast. The important thing is that they plan time together, just the two of them. Dad can keep this special card in his wallet to remind him of the most important appointments he has scheduled that month. One his Dates with Dad card has expired, he has a year full of memories and a wonderful keepsake that will bring those memories back once his children are grown. It will also be just in time to receive a new card! They can continue this monthly tradition forever.
Your the Best Dad Ever
Every year, ask each of your children what they love most about their Dad. Write their answers on little cards cut in the shape of a man's tie. They can be made with a variety of colored construction paper, and embellished with stripes or plaids. Your children will have fun hiding these cards in places where they are sure to be found in the morning...inside Dad's favorite coffee mug, underneath his shaving cream, on the door out to the newspaper, etc. He will wonder why everyone is watching him so closely as he starts to pour himself a cup of coffee that next morning. After collecting all of his Father's Day notes of appreciation, you can collage them into a Father's Day book with your annual photo of "surprise" as Dad discovers one in a place he didn't expect. This is a tradition he will really look forward to each year.