My wife and I recently discovered the TV series “Blue Bloods.” We have enjoyed it so much, we bought the whole first season on ITunes, and have been working our way through those early programs. What do we like about the program? For one, it seems to be well written as evidenced by the tension we feel as we watch the program unfold. But we are also impressed by the way the men are treated in the program.
Most TV sitcoms seem to show men as being little boys in big bodies. They are couch potatoes, lack intelligence compared with their wives, and are incompetent when it comes to parenting. But the men in “Blue Bloods” are different. They are competent at home and at work. We like that.
But what really hooked me were the scenes of the extended family sitting around the dinner table on Sundays after Church. Not every meal goes smoothly. Sometimes someone gets upset and leaves the table, only to work things out in the Kitchen. But every time I see the dinner table scene, I say to Jan–”I want us to have Sunday dinners like that with our extended family!”
We’ve tried it at times, and it is a lot of fun, especially for me. But we may hit one Sunday out of ten. What I am longing for are some family rituals that are expected to happen by everyone in the family. Oh, we do have our rituals for birthdays. And we have a special ritual for Holidays, especially for Christmas.
In our family, we have dinner together on Christmas eve At the end of the dinner, several of the grandkids read the Christmas story, and then end with the Easter story, Then I, the Papa, lead the family in communion. We even have three antique silver Jewish wedding goblets that we use, intending that when we are gone, our three sons will each have one for their own family ritual.
The family that values rituals might be called the intentional family–things happen just because that’s what we do in our family. It involves the way we come together to celebrate special events, as well as just because we want to celebrate being family. We’re a family characterized by spontaneity, not planning. But when it comes to family rituals, we try to be very intentional.
What are some of your family’s rituals? Post them so we can learn from each other.