Since today is the first day of Lent, I got out our book, Family Celebrations at Easter, by Ann Hibbard. I highly recommend this book, as it appeals to many ages and more than one learning style, and focuses on the gospel.
Each devotional begins with a short present-day story or situation, then moves to a Bible reading (not very long) pertaining to Lent. Then come discussion questions, and I usually start with the youngest child and work my way around the table of kids, asking the provided questions and making up a few of my own. I can quickly think of easy questions for the younger kids, and the more thought-provoking questions often launch my older kids into a meaningful discussion of the topic at hand.
The devotional ends with a short prayer and a suggested hymn, and then instructions about which symbol* to hang on our Lent tree. The kids have fun guessing which symbol it is, based on that day’s reading.
*We copied the symbols (from the back of the book) a few years ago onto card stock, cut them out, colored them, and tied pretty yarn to each of them. Also, we don’t have a tree; one year we just tied the symbols to a crocheted string hung across our fireplace mantel.
I LOVE simple traditions, and Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday for this reason. So I borrowed the following excerpt from an email I received the other day from Keepers of the Faith…
Family traditions are one of the things that strengthen family ties or bond families together. A tradition is one thing that families can look forward to and enjoy together. They create wonderful memories, and are actually a great way to create future family togetherness and happiness within the family framework. Today there are many things which tend to divide families, but good traditions create warm bonds.
Regardless of the past, this is a new season for you and for your children. Give it some thought and prayer and see what you can begin doing this year to make your Thanksgiving a blessed one. Our traditions have changed through the years as is natural, but as grandparents, this is one that has been going on for nearly fifteen years. The grandkids wouldn’t miss it for anything. What do we do? Click here to find out!
One of our traditions is to serve a fancy breakfast (brunch) on Thanksgiving morning, with a white table cloth, candles, china and goblets! (This was, of course, started by my mom.) I might not have kept it up, since it is extra work, but my kids all look forward to it so much–partly because it’s such a sweet family time if you’re going to be with a large group for Thanksgiving dinner.
During the breakfast, we all go around the table several times and share something we’re thankful for–and place a kernel of corn in a dish for each item we name. (Five kernels of corn are placed at each place setting and are to remind us to be thankful that we have more than five kernels of corn to eat!) We begin and end with traditional Thanksgiving hymns, copied onto half-sheets of paper, with a Scripture reading printed on the back for everyone to read aloud. It’s one of the highlights of my year!
Next time…our menu (with recipes)