This week is grace week at Beauty Full Slow, so I thought I'd jump in and do a past list on Family Traditions. Our family is a little unusual as we don't keep most traditional holidays, so I'd like to document it as a part of our story.
- Keep the spring and fall Biblical festivals:
- Biblical New Year - watch for the signs of the new Biblical year (new moon, aviv barley)
- Passover - keep Passover at home as a family and remember the sacrifice of of our Savior
- First Fruits - the first Sunday after Passover - we study the fruits of the Spirit, have a fruity dish and drink, and celebrate the resurrection of Yeshua/Jesus.
- Feast of Unleavened Bread - remove the leaven (symbolic of sin) from our homes, eat unleavened bread for 7 days, keep the 1st and last days as rest days, then count 50 days to...
- Shavuot/Pentecost - gather with family or brethren to fellowship and keep a rest day
- Feast of Trumpets - make a moon cake, blow trumpets to call family to dinner, give small gifts, keep a rest day, and look forward to the return of Christ
- Day of Atonement - afflict our souls (fast and turn away from doing our pleasure on this day), repent from our sins, and we usually eat out to break our fast, but not always.
- Feast of Tabernacles - look forward to when we will tabernacle with Yeshua/Jesus! We watch for the harvest moon the first day of the Feast, camp out for 8 days, keep the 1st and 8th days as rest days, attend services, fellowship with brethren, roast marshmallows and sing hymns around a camp fire, fish, canoe, do the zipline, attend a dance (this year's theme is a square dance), attend a ladies tea, go bowling, and have a family day with field games, amazing race, family fun, and a BBQ. We give the kids some spending money at the feast. This is always a fun time that we all look forward to.
- We don't keep the Jewish holidays, but we play dreidel every year during Hanukkah, ever since a dear friend sent us a Hanukkah games set. We buy a big bag of chocolate coins at Costco and we play a few rounds with the whole family and then my kids play for hours.
- Spring and fall nature walk to look for signs of spring/ fall.
- Because we celebrate the harvest with The Feast of Tabernacles, we keep an American Thanksgiving a day late and eat all kinds of traditional Thanksgiving foods for our Sabbath meal the next day. :)
- And we watch fireworks on the 4th of July.
- Watch for the new moon and celebrate a time of renewal. Sometimes we give small gifts to each other or others without them knowing.
- Prep food on Friday for Saturday, Family Sabbath dinner on Friday night, a Sabbath treat on Saturday, and church at home
- Family movie or episode from a favorite series (currently on season 6 of Heartland)
- Sunday home blessing day (we deep clean once a week)
- We have family centered birthdays to celebrate the growth of our family and mark the occasions with a special dinner and dessert of the individual's choosing. Sometimes I do a fun theme, but not always. This coming year, I want to eat out as a family on each birthday.
- $1 for each year of birth at birthdays. I get creative with this! Last year, I put one dollar in 5 balloons for Bo's 5th, for example.
- We put streamers on the birthday child's bunk bed or door.
- Ice cream cones after a hair cut.
- "What's Behind Box #1" - this is where I buy a bunch of board games or family centered activities, wrap them, and put them in a big box. I started doing this to wean my children off of TV. Once a week, I gave them a choice to watch a movie or pick from Box #1. They almost always pick from the box and sometimes there is a wrapped DVD in there. :)
- "Roodabumps" - this where we give each member of the family a sum of money and as a family we pick what we will do with it/where we will go. On the trip, we each contribute to the cost of the trip - including gas and food! This is great to teach the kids to choose wisely - especially when eating out. Any left over money is spent at the toy store.
- Dinner table games - this is where my husband makes a silly game to play at the dinner table. Sometimes it is an add-on game or conversation starters to get the kids talking or dreaming.
- Taxi Rides at Bedtime - this is where my husband dresses funny, calls himself "Pedro" and takes calls for taxi rides to bed. The kids climb up on the couch and get a wild piggy back ride to bed.
- Reading aloud at bedtime.
- Not-back-to-school celebration on the first day of public school.
- Back-to-school breakfast with one waffle for each grade the child is in.
- Themed meals and school parties just because they tie in to the theme or row!
I'd love to incorporate more simple (and slowing) traditions, so I plan to start by adding a seasonal themed tea party. I am planning a woodland tea theme for the Feast, so that will be our first themed tea for fall. :)
Do you have any simple little traditions that are special to your family?