Last week I had the privilege of speaking at Mom to Mom about family traditions. They asked me to talk about traditions throughout the year, but I decided to give my talk a twist. I shared our family traditions that encourage keeping Christ the focus of that event or holiday.
Before I shared our family traditions with the young moms, I reminded them we need to keep our priorities straight as we raise our kids.
God -> Husband -> Kids -> Ministry
I often see young moms so involved in ministry that they neglect their family. It’s easy to do this because we get pats on the back when we help others. I’d like to remind us all that ministry comes after your family. Don’t feel guilty if you are unable to be involved in formal ministry (ie: Church programs).
Your kids live in your home for a short time period. I know it’s exhausting when they’re young or when you’re homeschooling. It takes a lot of energy, but it is a short season of life. Go ahead and develop some traditions with your family. Your kids will not remember how many hours you volunteered at church; they will remember the times you spent together as a family.
Another temptation I see is the internet – facebook, email, pinterest, all of it. They’re all time suckers. Be careful how much time you spend online. If necessary, put on a timer and get off that screen (computer, phone, ipad, etc) when it rings. Spend time with your family or take care of your home when you hear the timer.
Start with one thing at a time. Don’t try to do everything you hear. Choose just one idea for each holiday this year. Let’s start with Thanksgiving family traditions that we have.
In everything give thanks. I Thessalonians 5:18
1. Running List of Thanks
When I was growing up, my dad had us go around the table and say what we were thankful for. The past few years, we’ve put a twist on this activity. My favorite was writing down our thanks on a colored feather & inserting it into a turkey pinecone. We each took turns pulling out a feather and reading it to our family. Then, we guessed who wrote that thanks. It was so much fun.
Another year, we wrote our thanks on slips of paper & inserted them in our rolls. We read the thanks as we ate our meal.
As a family do a word study on eucharisteo. This comes from the ideas offered inOne Thousand Gifts. If you want this word study already set up for you, you can get ithere
Another option is to study Philippians and the idea of thankfulness.
I wish this was available when my kids were young, but I am ready for grandkids. This advent calendar / puzzle comes with a booklet for each of 3 holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter). You will have a verse & question to discuss for each day. As you get closer to the holiday, your kids will see a picture appear on the calendar.We used advent calendars for Christmas family traditions, but I love the idea of having a countdown for Thanksgiving & Easter, too.
5. Read Together
Learning about our Christian heritage is often neglected. Use this time to discover more about the Pilgrims and their trip to America. You can read about some of our favorite Thanksgiving books here.
6. Oreo Turkey Cookies
Just for fun! My kids still make these as adults…see…
I’ll be adding other family traditions for the rest of the year & will link them up below.
.Question: What are your favorite Thanksgiving family traditions? You can leave a comment by clicking here.