I know that I have been writing about Noah’s First Communion all week so far, but all of this made me think of something that works for me that I wanted to share. It is something that all parents can use, not just those who celebrate First Communion as well.
In our home, we don’t tend to have very big birthday parties. Actually, sometimes we don’t have birthday parties at all. We just have a dinner where the birthday kid gets to pick what we have — maybe even food from out — and just enjoy the time together and quietly celebrate their birthday. We are low key about a lot of things like this.
Now, this past weekend, when Noah made his First Communion, we cleaned like crazy for probably about one whole day, and the kids saw that. I then made food for a decent portion of two different days. We sent out invitations to tons of family and friends, and told the kids about many of the people that were invited. We all stayed dressed up throughout the party. We decorated with balloons outside and even had Noah pick out flowers that he liked from the floral department to make our dessert table extra pretty. (Yes, we had enough food that we had regular food on the counter, and then our kitchen table was a dessert table.)
Okay — so what does all this mean? What’s the point?
Through our actions of going all out for this party, it became abundantly clear to all of our kids (even three year old Molly) that First Communion was a very important event to our whole family. This was an event that made us basically drop everything else we were doing for two or three days. This was an event that we spent weeks planning.
I am not suggesting that if someone does something low-key then it means that an event is not important to them. By all means, birthdays are something we hold dear. But, our actions in making such a big deal about it told our kids (and all of our family and friends) that this was something that we were so excited about that we couldn’t help but celebrate. And, this was all not lost on Noah (age 8), who at the end of the evening as I tucked him into bed, got tears in his eyes when we talked about all the people who had come and how they had come because they were so excited for him.
This idea can easily be translated into all sorts of situations in our daily lives, and is such a great tool for teaching kids what really matters in life.
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