For as long as I can remember, I have relished creating and taking opportunities to celebrate the people in my life (family, friends, sometimes unsuspecting strangers) through events both regular (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays) and less predictable (sidewalk chalk congratulations, hanging stockings in the woods for Christmas in July).
A few years ago, after we had sung some goofy song around the table for our blessing before the meal with another family who had joined us for dinner, my friend asked me if I had any of these blessings and or other celebrations and family traditions written down. I told her that I did not, but that I would see what I could put together for her. That was 3 1/2 years ago, and I've been working on a draft ever since.
One author David B. Batchelder encourages family traditions as ways to “weave faith into the structures of daily life." He notes that “as we pay attention to special times that touch our faith, we discover how to live our faith not only through out days but all through the year—and ultimately, throughout our lives. Such a pattern of living and celebrating our faith can bring together the often discordant and disconnected fragments of our hectic lives. The thread tying our lives together as family will be this rhythm of worship and ritual, which gently shapes us with the joy of God’s loving faithfulness.”
My hope with this blog is to share some of the celebrations that have fit our family and have helped us to mark certain days and seasons of our lives. The key here is to see that you don’t have to have it all figured out before you start to celebrate. I find that this is an art in our family that is constantly evolving as a work in progress. Some years, we drop certain things and add others depending on the ages and stages of us all.
As you share in the journey with me, just pick a few things that you think would be a good fit for you, find joy in making it your own, and see if it stands the test of time to decide if it is going to indeed become your tradition. Remember that it’s never too late to begin something new and to join in the fun. So, welcome to the party!