Posts Tagged ‘quality time’

Thanksgiving Traditions

November 16th, 2012 by Behaven Kids

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost here! It’s an interesting time for my family and extended family. In the past we have always gotten together with my mom’s parents and siblings, but over the years as family changes and dynamics change, our rituals have changed. Along with that change comes some discord amongst family members.

My immediate family, meaning my husband and kids, changed our Thanksgiving tradition a few years ago. My husband has very few holidays off of work and Thanksgiving is one of them. I feel that it is unfair to him to spend part of his one day off traveling and spending his time with extended family that we aren’t super close with. We’ve started our own tradition in that we make a dinner ourselves at home with our kids. We invite friends or co-workers that have nowhere else to go over to our home. We enjoy a relaxing day in our own home, wearing comfy clothes, watching football, taking naps, and doing whatever else we want. There are no errands to run, no honey-do lists to complete, just a free day pass at home, spending the day together.

Now I know that there are members of our family that don’t completely understand and don’t agree with how we spend our Thanksgiving holiday. I know our grandparents are aging and we won’t have many opportunities for a significant number of holidays together. But, I also know I make other attempts throughout the year to spend quality time with them instead of with a large mass of people.

My mom made the comment the other day that she believes that Thanksgiving traditional large-family gatherings were made for families that live far apart. That way when they get together for the holiday there is more of an aura of excitement for spending time together and the perception of the holiday gathering is different than for those of us who see our family members often and outside of holidays.

I’m always curious to hear about other people’s holiday traditions. We see all of the movies and t.v. shows that sensationalize what family gatherings are like. I’m always curious to know if anyone truly has those types of holiday gatherings. We used to play card games when we go to my grandparents and sometimes we still do, but the younger generations don’t learn to play cards the way the older generations have done. My grandfather and I used to play basketball, softball, beanbag and all sorts of sports activities at holiday events, but now that he’s 86 years old, we just aren’t able to do that as much anymore. My dad’s parents were deaf and let’s just say our holidays with them were quiet! We played Uno or Skipbo but that was about it. Our extended family on my parent’s side is really very small. My husband’s extended family is overwhelmingly large. There are more cousins and second and third cousins that you can count on all of your fingers and toes. So when there is a holiday gathering like Thanksgiving, for me as an outsider, it has always felt like a gathering with a lot of strangers where we are polite and exchange courteous but not in-depth conversations.

I’m curious to know what will you be doing for this thanksgiving holiday? What are some of your favorite thanksgiving traditions that you do with your family?

Family Time

June 5th, 2012 by Behaven Kids

This past weekend was very eventful for our family.  Omaha had a couple of great events this weekend that we were able to partake in as a family: Sand in the City and Taste of Omaha.  These events were a great alternative to the normal hustle and bustle of the weekend grind in our household.

Terrell works all week, while I stay home with the children.  The weekend is always the first opportunity for us to attempt to unwind, yet it is always filled with activities and commitments that we have to remain loyal to.  With that being said, while we would like to have “family time” on the weekend, often times we are split up doing our own things.  Saturday mornings usually find me up early attending meetings for a couple of organizations/groups I serve in, in addition to taking Kalila to choir rehearsal.  When I’m away at meetings, Terrell is usually home with the kids until I return in the early afternoon.  By that time our kids are off to their grandparents’ houses for their weekly visits, or hanging out with their aunts and uncles.  As you can see, it’s easy for our family to miss out on “family time” on the weekends. So this weekend I had to make a concerted effort to get Terrell, the kids, and myself to do an activity together as a family.  Omaha was a great city to be living in this weekend, helping to provide the platform for our family time with all the downtown events taking place.

Saturday was our true family time since it included all five of us at one event.  We all went to Sand in the City, a fundraiser for the Nebraska Children’s Home Society that featured sand structures built by local companies.  They also had live entertainment, face painting, bouncy houses, and a large sand pile for the kids to build sand castles.  We spent about two hours at the event and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  Our kids were intrigued by the intricate designs of the sand structures developed by the organizations who built them.  One of our favorites was the Angry Birds structure built by Kiewit.  My daughter, Kalila, loved the Rapunzel sand structure that featured a long braid hanging out of her tower window, complete with a red bow.


Then on Sunday, Terrell and Israel stayed home for a nap, while Kalila, Keyonu, and I traveled back downtown to experience the Taste of Omaha; an event where you can taste cuisine from several Omaha restaurants at a low price.  I wanted to make sure Kalila and Keyonu felt the love this weekend from their parents, and I’m certain they did.  It felt a little incomplete without Dad and Izzy with us, but it allowed for me to have bonding time with the older kids without having to focus so much attention on the baby.  And with Sand in the City, it felt good to be out as a family on a day that we would normally put the “to do” list before our quality time.

I think it’s convenient for families to run errands on the weekends as opposed to during the week.  But have you ever considered what is taken away or sacrificed regarding the dynamic of quality time?  In our family, it’s not always easy to run errands together so we will have to discover a way to balance family time with the “to do” list.