Family Time

 
by Alyice Edrich

Have you ever noticed how we tend to be kinder to strangers than our own family members? Have you noticed how we can easily forgive a friend, yet hold a grudge towards our own flesh and blood? I was thinking about this as I came across a date to be remembered, for a party book I am writing. Did you know that May 5th is the start of Family week?

As I sat and pondered what to write, I couldn't help but contemplate over this momentous occasion that I didn't even know existed. How often do we hurry about our daily lives, forgetting as much as a thank you to the ones that live in our own homes? What about the times our mothers bandaged our knees or took vacation days to care for us because we were sick? What about the times our spouse gave up a day of golf to work overtime, so that little Jimmy could get braces? Or the times that our children did some act of kindness, only to have us brush it off for more important tasks?

Let's face it, life can be tough on our families, as it pulls us in twenty different directions. Why not block the week of May 5th, on your calendar, to cherish your family members. And to help you do just that, I have included some wonderful ideas:

Starting on Monday, start a new family tradition... something that would take no more and no less time than you already have in your day. At dinner, start with a family prayer. In my family, we say an old fashioned prayer, "God is good, God is great..." with a twist. We play round robin, where each member says a verse of the prayer. After our prayer, whilst we eat, each person takes turns telling us the high and low of their day. I love this part of the day most of all, because through this game of Hi/Low, I have really gotten to know my kids better and let me tell you it works better than asking, "how was your day?"

On Tuesday, have the family sit down to write thank you notes to distant relatives. In a one hour time frame, allow each member of the family to pick whom they would write. But make sure each member picks someone different to write to. Then have them share one cherished memory with the person whom he or she is writing.

On Wednesday, gather the family around to play a board game or two. To put an end to fighting over who gets to choose the game, write every game you have down on a 5 inch by 5 inch piece of paper then place in a jar and roll a die; the highest number picks. If you choose to do this every Wednesday, get another jar to place the picked board games in and rotate family members for picking from the jar.

On Thursday, consider taking the family to the park for a picnic dinner. If you have an active family, this would be a great time to have some sack races, play catch, or take a nature walk. Walking also has a way to open up the lines of communication.

On Friday, take the family out for the evening to the movies, a concert, or a theatrical play.

On Saturday, invite the extended family members that live near you over for a Potluck Dinner. Ask each guest to bring his or her favorite meal and be prepared to tell why. Set the table so that each family member is sitting by an extended family member. Place a seating card with each person's name where you would like each person to sit. Inside the card, write one sentence or paragraph about why that person is special to you.

On Sunday, attend church and take the grand-parents out to brunch. When you sit down at to the meal, give them a picture of you when you were little and explain why that day meant so much to you.

Until next year, have a great week of family fun and bonding!


Alyice Edrich is a copywriter, freelance writer, simple web designer, and discount telecommunications agent. She is also the Editor-in-Chief for The Dabbling Mum.com - - An Online Magazine for BUSY Parents. http://thedabblingmum.com

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