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.
Sharing our vacation memories with friends and family is as each as a touch of a button on social networks, but every family trip could include a stop at the local post office. Have each family member select a postcard and write a funny story or describe an exciting adventure, then send it home. Imagine how fun it will be to check the mail when you arrive home and find your memories there. These postcards will become your traveling journal and will remind you of all the fun times you enjoyed while away. The postcards do not have to come from far away or exotic places, it makes no difference whether it comes from Grandm's house or Tahiti. Save these postcards and vacation photos in your Summer Album to keep these priceless memories alive.
Collect sand from all the places that you visit over the years. Don't forget to grab a few shells, rocks or other items that would represent the land it came from and add a beautiful splash of color to your display. If camping is your family passion, dirt and sticks might work. You'll be surprised at the variety of colors and textures you will find. When you return home from your trip, fill a glass bottle with your souvenirs. An eclectic mix of different shaped and sized glass bottles will add to the uniqueness of your collection. Attach a small tag to the bottle explaining where the sand or dirt is from and display the collection of memories in your home for all to see. This simple tradition will become an important part of every summer vacation.
Cast Away Your Worries
Summer is a time to be carefree. More often than not, we adults tend to be bogged down by little things that really don't matter, or big things we can't change. This tradition is a great way for all of us to learn to let go of what troubles us and enjoy the precious time we have together. On the last day of school, as you are preparing to take off for the family's summer vacation or every week of the summer if need be, have everyone write down something that worries them. Whatever it is that bothers us, once it is down on paper, it's easier to let go. Roll up your "worries" and tie them with a ribbon or use tape. Have everyone say a prayer asking God to take our anxiety away and to help us, with thanksgiving, bring our request to Him and accept His peace in our hearts. (From Philippians 4:6) Then everyone can toss their worries over their shoulder. Your swimming pool, or a local fountain, or the bathtub are all great places to "let go and let God", toss your worries, and continue with a carefree summer.
Leave your family's mark at every place you visit. While on vacation, find a spot to creatively write the location, and the year of your trip (Grand Canyon 2012, or Hawaii 2013). Take a picture of your family next to this inscription. If you go to the beach, write it in the sand. If you are on a camping trip, write it with sticks or rocks. If you are vacationing near the snow, use your shovel to leave your mark. You can always adorn it with tropical flower, seashells, leaves from local plants, or pine comes. Get creative and remember...do not go home without your treasured destination photo! Place the photos in a special album to record all of your family's exciting adventures.