Millennium Mom

Friday, May 10, 2013

How to make those "special" days special

How to make the special days even more special

My youngest child Sarah recently made her First Holy Communion. As I looked at this day I asked myself how I can make it special for her. We don’t live near either of our families, so events like this don’t lead to a big party as they did when I grew up. Yes, her grandparents came into town, and we went to dinner, but how can I give her lasting memories I wondered. And what about birthdays, graduations, Valentine’s day, Thanksgiving and other special occasions? These questions led me to the web and research, what advice is out there for moms like me, just trying to make a day feel “special” for their loved ones.

• Write a letter or note to your child – Whether it is a birthday, sacrament, graduation or recital, write your child a note about how you feel, how proud you are, and what the day means to you. It is easy to buy the Hallmark card that seems to capture your feeling, but adding your personal note to reflect on the day and what led up to that day is what will be read years from now. Be sure to write the date on it so years from now it will put it all in perspective as they look through their keepsake box.

• Be consistent each year – Memories are formed often by “a major event” or surprise, but also through routine. If you do the same thing to mark the special day each year, your child is more likely to remember it. One mom online talked about how on each Valentine’s day she would die her children’s milk red, make heart shaped pancakes and put Hershey’s kisses in her kids lunch box. I am guessing 20 years later they still remember that every Valentine’s day. When I was a child, my dad would come home on Valentine’s day with a few roses for my mom and a carnation for my sister and me. Each year it made me feel so special and I still remember it over 30 years later. Maybe make your kids breakfast in bed for their birthday each year, have a celebration on the last day of school and so on.

• Let them help – nothing is more personal than letting your child put their fingerprints on the day. Regardless of age there are many things you can have your kids select for their day

o Cake and ice cream flavor – ask them what flavor of cake they want you to make or get. I remember I always asked for my grandmother’s angels food cake with whipped icing and strawberries every year, or Carvel ice cream cake

o If you are going out to eat let them pick out the restaurant. My neighbors do this and it is always fun to hear what the children chose.

o If you are having a party let them determine the theme of the party or where it will be held

o Let them make the invitations to the party and design them online with their help to personalize the day

• Spend “special” time with your child - personal one on one time with your child or even your entire family is truly “special” now and days. We are so over-scheduled and running from place to place, that spending downtime on these special days in itself will make them feel special. Just ask your child what they want to do, whether it is play in the yard, play a board game, go for a walk or have a picnic; it is not the usual routine of running around, watching TV or playing video games to kill time. Family time in itself can be special, so act like it is 20 years ago and just enjoy each other’s company that will truly make it feel special.


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