You'll wish that summer
could always
be here!

Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.

Make your lives extraordinary!

I'm sure you celebrate Christmas -- probably with a fun extravaganza of food, and activities, and presents. Birthdays too. Thanksgiving undoubtedly is in there as well, without the presents but with a lot more food. And maybe you decorate your entire house for Halloween and hang up a flag for the fourth of July. But if it all feels a little routine, if you feel like you're doing things because you're expected to or because your parents did it that way or because you think you ought to, maybe it's time to try something new. But what? And when? And how?

There are different ways to bring new traditions into your home. You can start simply and add a new element each year, or you can plunge in with a full-blown event. Whatever you decide, remember that you only have to do something twice to call it a tradition!

As you can see by our calendar on the sidebar, we celebrate a lot of holidays in our family. We've taken the slow-and-steady path, incorporating natural and liturgical rhythms into our lives. Some celebrations never really clicked with us and we let them go after trying a time or two. Others have turned into much anticipated highlights of our year. So be prepared -- some ideas that you have may not work with your family. Let them go. Find a new way.

An easy way to get started is to look for a time of year when you don't have major holidays or birthdays to celebrate. There's a lull in our lives from June to August, for example, and so we've invented a few summer holidays to keep things lively.

You can also give some thought to goals you would like to achieve as a parent. I want our girls to be aware of and feel connected to the natural world around them, and so we celebrate the first day of each new season. I also want them to grow in their understanding of our Catholic faith, and so we try to find meaningful ways to bring the liturgical seasons into our lives.

Would a plan of action help?  Here you go:
  1. Choose a holiday.
  2. Think of an activity or outing or meal that reflects some aspect of the holiday.  Google "activities" for your holiday to get some ideas.  Make sure you pick something you will enjoy doing -- no one will have fun unless you set the tone.
  3. Talk it up.  Mark your calendar and let your family know that a celebration is in the works.  Anticipation is exciting!

Let's say it -- there's a lot of life-sapping drudgery in our days. Something is always going wrong and there's always something to worry about. It's often easier to withdraw, disconnect, zone out. Finding days and ways to celebrate takes energy and some planning, but the benefits are real. You become more engaged with life.  You connect with your children. You remember that there is a really interesting world out there and expand your children's worldview. You learn and grow and have fun. You are more alive.

Choose a holiday -- or invent a holiday -- to celebrate and make it yours. Give your children memories that will bring them joy as they grow.

This IS the day the Lord has made. Let us be glad and rejoice in it!