At the heart of every family tradition is a meaningful experience.
We had a wonderful family tradition in the early 90’s.
On Friday evenings after work, I would pick the kids up from day care, take them to the Chinese restaurant and put in our order. We would then walk next door to Blockbuster to choose a movie and head back to pick up the food. While heading back we did this sort of conga/salsa dance move singing a little homemade song to the words ‘Chinese food and movies’.
Friday’s were sacred and totally dedicated to family time after a busy work week. All the week night rules were out the window. We popped the movie in the VCR, sat in from of the TV and ate our Chinese food.
The tradition lasted until Blockbuster went out of business.
But their failure to evolve as a business was not going to impact our family tradition; we simply moved to Netflix.
Now, with the liquidation of Toys “R” Us many family traditions will change. Where they would have headed to the store to celebrate a good report card, birthday, or holiday, that special trip just won’t happen again.
But you don’t have to lose the joy because you lost the toy. Instead build memories with experiential gifts.
Why reward the report card, when you can reward the effort? If your child just completed a dinosaur diorama, take them to a museum that features dinosaurs such as The Museum of Natural History.
Why just give a book as a gift, when you can give a whole experience? One of the best gifts my daughter received from family was the book, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, celebrated with a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and lunch in Brooklyn.
If you are one of those amazing sports families, you may want to consider planning a trip to the hall of fame of your favorite sport.
There are many opportunities where families can stay close to home, and for little money attend local festivals, or support the local high school by attending concerts, plays and sporting events. This also teaches kids they are part of a community.
Rather than worrying about your kids’ use of technology, host family game nights.
Why wait for the big holidays? You can celebrate everyday holidays so there is always something to look forward to.
Here are a few examples:
- Science Fiction Day – Jan 2nd
- Sunday Supper Day – Jan 14th
- Kazoo Day – Jan 28th
- Random Acts of Kindness – Feb 17th
- Margarita Day – Feb 22nd (ok, that’s clearly NOT for the kids!)
- Tell a Fairy Tale Day – Feb 26th
- Dr. Seuss Day (Read across America) Mar 2nd
- Pi Day – Mar 14th
- Take a Walk in the Park Day – Mar 30th
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Day – Apr 2nd
- Teach Children to Save Day – Apr 20th
- Take our Kids to Work Day – Apr 26th
- Star Wars Day – May 4th
- Teacher Appreciation Day – May 8th
- Take your Parents to the Playground Day – May 20th
- Drive-In Movie Day – Jun 6th
- Flag Day – June 14th
- Meteor Watch Day – Jun 30th
- Mac and Cheese Day – Jul 14th
- Toss away ‘Could Have Should Have’ Day – Jul 21st
- Cousins Day – Jul 24th
- Friendship Day – Aug 5th
- Bowling Day – Aug 11th
- Tooth Fairy Day – Aug 22nd
- Day of Encouragement – Sep 12th
- Talk Like a Pirate Day – Sep 19th
- Family Health and Fitness Day – Sep 29th
- Do Something Nice Day – Oct 5th
- Mad Hatter Day – Oct 6th
- Magic Day – Oct 31st
- STEM/STEAM Day – Nov 8th
- Philanthropy Day – Nov 15th
- Day of Giving – Nov 27th
- Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day – Dec 8th
- Nobel Prize Day – Dec 10th
- Thank –You Note Day – Dec 26th
Here are 62 ideas I posted last year, that are especially helpful as you plan for summer.
Personally, I am deeply saddened by the store closings. I so enjoyed taking my children there, and I was looking forward to taking my grandchildren there too. I worked at Toys “R” Us for many years with amazing and talented people who will not only lose the traditions, but their jobs.
Change is the only constant, but we need to teach our children resilience. I hope these ideas help all of us move on.
Wishing you the very best,
Tina Nocera, Founder