I got this idea from my newlywed daughter. She and her husband are attending a university in the west and have begun to establish their own family traditions prior to having children of their own. I loved this idea about creating your own family holiday.
Get together with your family and pick a date. Then make that date your own personal family holiday. Hey, if donuts can have their own day, so can a family!
Here’s how to get started:
Pick the day
December 21? Third Saturday in October? You decide. Get together and have everyone throw some dates into the ring and discuss why they chose that particular day. Then deliberate and vote. Ta-da! National (insert surname here) Family Day!
Chose the location
A day at home, maybe the beach, the mountains, the woods, movie theater, or mall. How about visiting a neighboring state? Or, a historic landmark? Have everyone makes suggestions, and then vote.
Choose an activity
Sports, watching movies, playing board games, hiking, or a photo safari (supply everyone with a camera). You could write a story, or do a scavenger hunt. Make a movie, or perform a family community service project. Learn something new (sewing, painting, origami.)
Choose a theme
How about the 80’s? Green, soft, The Flintstones, Pride and Prejudice, or Stephen King. Go crazy and think of the most random theme you can think of and run with it.
Choose the cuisine
Italian, Vegan, red, or eating only things that grow underground. Smoothies, zucchini (our family once served a meal of only zucchini prepared seven different ways), or serving everything on a biscuit? Whatever you can pack into a brown lunch bag? Eat with chopsticks or fingers.
Choose the attire
Are you celebrating in your pajamas? Puttin’ on the Ritz? Brown? Denim? Sporty? Polyester? Crazy hats? Matching family t-shirts? Grass skirts?
Choose the mode of transportation?
Bicycles, feet, train, airplane, trolley, horse, or rickshaw?
Decide whether or not you can adapt. When Hannah and Thomas created their holiday, each made lists of different things they wanted to do, and then handed the lists to each other. Then they each chose one thing off the other’s list. So their holiday would consist of flying some place random and going to the beach. Bearing in mind that they are starving university students, they adapted. They got in their car and at every intersection they flipped a coin to decide which way to turn. Then they drove until they found a body of water which happened to be a pond on a farm with cows. They had a blast (they’re young and in love) taking pictures of the farm, the cows and each other.
If you’re really, really zany, spontaneous, and fun-loving, here’s another idea. Create a jar for each of the criteria above, and then put all sorts of options (use ideas listed or make up more of your own) into the jars and have different family members select one option from each of the jars. It turns into sort of a Mad-Lib (fill in the blanks) or Clue (Washington, DC on a bicycle in pajamas eating Mexican) kind of holiday that’s different every year.
You could even do one for the date that year. On January 1, have a month and a day jar and choose your holiday, and then choose the rest of the parameters either then or on the holiday, itself.
Make up an invitation reminding everyone of the holiday and what it will entail and mail it to each member of the family. Getting an invitation in the mail builds the excitement. Mark the calendar. Post it on the fridge.
The most important thing is bonding as a family. Nothing says love like wackiness and fun. Make all the memories you can.