I just had to take a moment to share a family tradition that we decided to start last year. Last night, we made the trek into Minneapolis to watch The Phantom of the Opera live on stage. What a fantastic time and experience!
This all came about last year because of a discount that was available on the tickets and I thought it’d be a neat Christmas present. But before I made the purchase last year, I wanted to see what Aryanna thought of it. If she wasn’t interested, I wasn’t going to shell out the funds. But she was ecstatic at the mention of seeing The Nutcracker live. So off we went. During the intermission, she made the suggestion that we make this an annual tradition – our family would go to the theater for Christmas. I thought it was brilliant. It’s one of those things that you get to experience together. We are making memories.
When we decided to make this a tradition, I told her that it was going to cut the number of gifts she’d be receiving. She was completely fine with that as well! Really? (She was 7 at the time.) Anyway, we created some wonderful memories and are sharing experiences we never would have if I had just purchased her a toy, clothing, jewelry, electronic, or one of the other billion options for gifts out there.
So, a new tradition has begun. And two years are in the bag. The Nutcracker and The Phantom of the Opera. I wonder what we will end up seeing next year. The joys of sharing experiences rather than giving something that will be tossed aside within a few days was far greater.
In fact, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on that experience today. So much so that I have come to the realization that things are often not found in that Joy Treasure I talked about but experiences are. Spending time with a loved one is more precious than buying them the latest gadget. It seems that so many are crying out for attention. Maybe it has something to do with the technology-smothered era we live in. Whether that is really the case or not, I feel people are in desperate need of time with other people. We are going to make more of an effort to keep those Family Fun Nights with games and puzzles on the floor, those phone-free (and IPod-free) times, as well as making time to just sit and chat. Creating those special and memorable experiences doesn’t have to cost anything. In fact, you can even make it a goal to find something free to do. Learn something new, go for a picnic, get the family together for a game, take a walk, anything!
What you do to keep your family close?