As the girls get older, I have started to give more thought to what our family traditions will be. Not HUGE celebrations or extravagant blowouts that require months (or even weeks) of planning...just the little things that, when they will look back on their childhood, will make them feel all warm and fuzzy about family and remind them of our happy little HOME.
So far, we have definitely established a few things that fit this criteria...some borrowed from my family (e.g., turning over the hand-made advent calendar at Christmas) and some borrowed from Peter's family (e.g., our dinnertime prayer is one that his family said together every night). And we are also beginning a few of our own (e.g., annual Cherry Blossoms picnic, Pajama Christmas light viewing where the girls get dressed in their PJs and we take them for a nighttime drive to see Winter Wonderland and Christmas light displays and they fall asleep on the way home and so on).
And now, we have a new addition to our Family Traditions. This one is borrowed from the Johnson Family in California. Every Memorial Day, they ushered in the summer season by changing their dishes to FISH plates. Nothing super fancy...just switched out the regular dishes for a set with a whimsical fish theme...and they used them all the way through Labor Day, when they were ceremoniously put away until the following summer! I had the pleasure a few times over the years of witnessing the excited anticipation on their daughters' faces as they "got ready" to take out the Fish Plates...and it was priceless! Seriously. It's amazing what the little things can do to add a little thrill to young lives!
So, piggybacking on this time-honored Johnson Family tradition, I purchased our Summer Dishes this week! And, in honor of all of our years spent in LA on the sands of El Porto with this special family...they are BEACH plates! Voila!
It is my hope that, as we celebrate summer together, our girls will experience the same thrill and sparkle in their eyes that I saw in S & J so many years ago! There is something about tradition that is comforting, sweet, and unspoiled. It is a little something special that says "this is OUR family...and it is good!" And it is...