family traditions


traditions for families

More Thoughts on Family Traditions
by Carl Caton

Here's ten more traditions that work great in our family.

1. Anything outdoors is fun for boys and girls. Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking. Building a campfire is always a major event.  And here’s a great tip: check out non-profit camps and lodges, typically run by church organizations. You’ll find them comfy enough, reasonably priced, and already geared up for creating special moments.

2. Christmas is the Grand-Daddy of tradition possibilities. But this is also a time to keep it simple because of all the hustle and bustle. The key to Christmas traditions is starting early! Put a note on your calendar in late September to plan some special times for the holidays. One activity that works well is to read the Christmas story from the family bible, a few verses each night. Change your routine prayer habits to accommodate this special season of the year.

3. Share the wealth. Could your kids actually look forward to giving? We request a special ‘holiday catalog’ each year from Samaritan's Purse. It’s laid out remarkably like a Christmas catalog, but offers great gift giving ideas for your kids to give to someone in need overseas. It is remarkable the impact on your kids for them to give a dozen ducks to a needy family in the Sudan. Prices are in the ‘kid-affordable’ range. We began suggesting they look at the ten dollar range. Our daughter surprised us by wanting to give a $25 bee hive.

4. Fishin’. It took me thirty years to discover that the purpose of a fishing pole is to keep you from looking lazy as you sit on the river bank. As Americans, we can never do nothing. So holding a fishing pole in your hand gives you the right to sit and talk. By the way, your kids think you really are fishing…. so don’t tell them otherwise!

5. Deep Science. One day, we stopped by the side of the road where the hillside had been cut away. We studied tree roots, soil layers, fossils, and more. Another time we were at a river and I told them to stare into the water until they found something. After thirty seconds, they gave up. I encouraged them to keep looking. Within a few minutes we were finding all kinds of life forms that had been right before our eyes. Make a tradition of ‘slowing down’ sometimes.

6. Family Fun Night. Talk about making something from nothing…. this is it. When you’re bored on a Friday night when parents get home too late to plan something, just throw a blanket down on the floor, toss a pizza in the oven, put in a family video and wallaaa… Family Fun Night. The mere mention of those three words and our kids give a hoop.

7. Game Night. This is another easy one. Try to plan on one night, even if it is only every-other month, to get together with another family for game night. Old favorites like Pictionary and Twister are always a hit. Generally, the more juvenile the better (for the parents, that is.)

8. Turkey Dinner. This is a great guilt-tripper for your kids, but also meaningful in a strange way. Every year, contact a church that has this ministry and get the name of a poor family who needs a turkey dinner. Even if you have to buy something pre-cooked at your grocery store, take a decent dinner to a needy family. Be prepared for endless questions. Your kids will take great satisfaction as you teach them the joy of giving.

9. Christian Concerts. People of faith are just now realizing what a fantastic opportunity that this new rage in music presents. Did you know that contemporary Christian music is the fastest growing genre of music in the industry? Recently, sales surpassed classical and jazz! My daughter and I are the concert-goers in the family. Even though we only make one or two a year, we’re always on the lookout for someone special who will be coming to our town. More recently, we make it a ‘date’ evening with dinner… then a concert. It brings tears to my eyes to hear some of the lovely lyrics to these youngster’s songs. If you aren’t fighting with your kids over music (who gets to have that new CD for their own stereo), let me suggest that you run to your nearest Christian bookstore.

10. One-on-One Breakfast. This idea has been expressed in many arenas but is worth mentioning again. One parent has breakfast with one child… just the two of you. No agenda, no time schedule, just the two of you. Be prepared to listen. Why can’t you do this once a year?

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(c) 2003 Caton Development, Inc.

family traditions