The November issue of ParentLife declared independence on tired and tedious holiday traditions in the article “Freedom From Tradition.” Families were encouraged to celebrate meaningfully and playfully in ways that create lasting memories, not lasting fatigue.
Need some ideas for an out-of-the-ordinary way to observe special days at your house? We’ve compiled some of our favorites:
We bought two tiny Christmas trees, one for each of our sons to put in his room. The boys were allowed to decorate the trees any way they liked. Some years, the decorations would change daily—action figures one day, paper chains the next; even socks and underwear!
Instead of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, we stock up on take-and-bake pizzas the night before. We bake them, eat from paper plates, and spend the day playing games together, not cooking!
We decided that a bunny visit on Easter Sunday detracted from the message of Jesus’ resurrection. So at our house, by mutual consent, the Early Bunny visits on the Saturday before Easter, leaving Sunday for worship and family time.
Nobody in our family cares much about football. So we plan a special dinner out on Superbowl Sunday evening. The restaurants aren’t crowded!
In our family, Roses Day (October 1) commemorates the day I received a dozen roses and a clue to the identity of the man I eventually married. Roses Day was such an important part of our family tradition, my daughter was puzzled after school one October first: “Mom, nobody at school has ever heard of Roses Day!”
Instead of a huge birthday present blowout that’s over in 10 minutes, we leave small gifts for the birthday boy (or girl) in unexpected places all day long.
We have a Thanksgiving tablecloth that comes out of storage every year. With fabric paint, each family member prints something for which he or she is thankful. It’s a great way to remember how God has cared for us over the years.