Every year, the first Monday night family home evening of the year we pull out a tattered old box that we have had for years and pry it open smiling all the while. Inside we find things we stored away a year before to remind us of our goals and other fun bits and pieces of information from last year. The kids always look forward to this activity and I have to admit it is a lot of fun for the grown ups too.
In the box we will find a tracing of each of our hands (and some years our feet too) so that we can see how much we have each grown in the past year. We will also find some lists of everyones favorite things (like foods and books and movies) that we always get a kick out of. It is always interesting to see where we have come from and how much we have changed in the year.
Also in our box we will find a list of our family goals for the year and a written version of our family cheer (we give our cheer every evening after family prayer). Seriously, if you are looking for something new to try that will pull your family together, this family cheer idea may be just the thing. We stole the idea from some people right after Bryce was born and it has become one of our families favorite things. We usually involve clapping or fist pumping or some such thing as part of our cheer and it is just a fun, uniting way to end every day as a family.
(Examples of family cheers include everyone standing in a circle, hands in the center, the person in charge for the day counts to three and we all chant "together...forever," or last years cheer we all drum on our legs as fast as we can until the person in charge calls "what are we going to do?" and we all say together "SERVE...WITH...FAITH." Anyway, you get the idea.)
As we plunged into our box this year we found that last January we put everything one one huge sheet of paper instead of individual sheets like we normally do (I had completely forgotten that). We all measured our hands (Josh and I didn't grow at all...I guess we should be glad of that) and read through our favorites. Some we could recall, some surprised us and some embarrased us.
After plenty of laughing and remembering we decided on new goals for the year as a family (learn a new hymn from the hymn book each month and try 10 new family dinners without whining about them throughout the year). We also picked a new family cheer (clap clap "COURAGE" clap clap "LOVE" clap clap "FAMILY").
Family traditions can be loads of fun, I'm glad I get to create these fun memories with my little family.