Okay, I admit it. I sometimes often overdo things.
If I find a shirt I love that fits well, I’ve been known to buy it in two colors. If it’s on sale? … I mean, how many colors are there? Is there a price break for buying in bulk?
A “cheat” meal has been known to turn into a “might-as-well-make-it-a-whole-weekend-of-fried-food” extravaganza.
And my Christmas-decorating aesthetic? I think my mom used the term, “Polar Express Manic.”
I overdo it. I know this. And while this personality has left me overcommitted, overspent, and just plain over it . . . there is a silver lining.
Just like sprinkles add a little something extra to the hot fudge, caramel, marshmallows, whipped cream, and multiple other toppings that go on my sundaes, my overboard personality can have sweet rewards in the parenting department.
One area where this is true is in celebrations.
I love to make a big deal out of small things. I try to view seemingly insignificant milestones as huge opportunities to create lasting impressions of fun and family for my girls.
Here are a few (affordable, doable, cleanable) ideas:
Last Day of School
My oldest daughter will finish second grade at the end of this month. Since Pre-K, we’ve had something “fun” waiting for her when she gets home on the last day. All month long, she’s been begging me to tell her what this year’s will be. We’ve done silly string, water balloons, and a surprise neighborhood tailgate party. This year, I plan on decorating my car in the tackiest manner possible, putting balloons in the floorboard, and cranking some summer-related music during pick up.
The “tooth fairy” is notoriously forgetful in this household. (Cough, cough) So instead of (belatedly) leaving cash under a pillow, we started a tradition a few years ago. Each time a kid loses a tooth, they get to take their “sweet tooth” to a dessert location of their choice. Afterward, we toss the tooth into the lake and snap a picture in the same spot, documenting their newly-gapped smile.
My youngest daughter is obsessed with the seasons. She constantly asks which season is next, what the weather will be like, what we’ll do during that season, etc. Over the last year, we’ve started a new tradition. On or around the turn of each season, we’ll choose a night during the week to celebration the passing season. For example, during our “Farewell to Fall” party, we roasted s’mores (in our fireplace, because we’re super classy like that), had a mini carnival in our playroom, sat on the back porch and looked at stars, and talked about what a fun fall we’d had.
I’m sure everyone has a million super fun Christmas traditions, but this is a family favorite. Every year we go shopping as a family to choose one new ornament each to represent the previous year. We make a BIG deal about this trip – and keep our ornament purchases a surprise until we trim the tree. It’s super fun to unpack the decorations and remember why we chose certain ones. (A Keeping-It-Real Note: I have a Word document on my computer to remember which ornament coincides with each year.)
I’d love to hear your celebration ideas! Comment below!