Holiday Rituals that Nurture Family Connection
Extraordinary moments often masquerade as ordinary life. So look around the pandemonium and remind yourself to be grateful for every minute you get to spend with your children as they grow. These years pass more quickly than we can imagine, and when kids look back, these are the memories that will define family for them.
Fall Family Rituals
- Start October 1st setting aside time every weekend to
help kids make their own Halloween costumes. Even five year olds can help you
sew a seam on the machine or glue on ears. You'll save money, have a
costume good enough to reuse, and think how proud he'll be! By the time
he's nine, he'll be taking charge of making his own costume.
Go for a drive to see the autumn foliage on the weekend before Halloween and pick up pumpkins to carve together. Roast the seeds.
Divide your family into teams and see who can rake the biggest leaf pile. Don't forget jumping into them!
Have the kids pick the most beautiful leaves to iron in wax paper for fall window hangings or scrapbooks. (Put leaves between sheets of wax paper, cover with dish towel, iron on medium heat.)
Take the family apple or raspberry picking. Make apple sauce together.
Have the family work together to create a spooky outgoing message on your answering machine.
Keep the house full of delicious smells throughout the month: mulled apple cider with cinnamon, pumpkin bread, apple cobbler, hot soup of all kinds. If your grocer stocks frozen dough, make bread. Or find an easy recipe that doesn't take much kneading and make your own bread or pretzels.
Thanksgiving: The Gratitude Attitude
What can you do to add some meaning back into the holiday and help your kids discover the gratitude attitude on which Thanksgiving is founded? Here's a whole page of Thanksgiving ideas.
December: Meaningful Family Traditions
My own family has eight nights of Chanuka, but Christmas offers similar opportunities for family connection. In any case, make December about connecting, not about achieving particular results. In other words, pull out the decorations and get them to help you, but don't worry what the house looks like, focus on connecting with your kids. Our list of great family December traditions is so long, it has its own page; click here!
NEW YEARS: Fun for Kids & Families
In the United States, New Years is not a family holiday. It seems to be about imbibing great quantities of liquor while waiting watching TV waiting for the ball to drop so we can kiss the one we're with. But kids are actually fascinated by the passage of time, which seems magical to them. They LOVE the idea of a new year, a fresh start, a celebration of life. Why not celebrate the new year with your family? Here are some New Years family rituals to get you started.
Valentines Day: Celebrate Family Love
Married with children? That means you have even more love to celebrate! Valentines Day is for families, too! Click here for a whole page of Valentines Day ideas!