At our house, we are all about simple. I love meaningful traditions, but a scrap-booker or family photo shoot gal I am not. The last time we had family pictures taken with something other than an iPhone, my now-kindergartener wasn’t even talking. We do, however, have a few intentional ways in which we mark the years and milestones. Our annual New Year’s Journals are one of my (and my kids’) favorites!
We started these when my now eleven-year-old was almost 2. All you need is a blank journal (we have one for each kid) and about 30 minutes. Here are some of the things we include in ours:
-How tall each child is (when they were little we also did their weight, but we’ve quit recording that)
-How many teeth they lost that year
-Current favorites such as books, tv shows, songs, school subjects, etc.
-A few significant memories from the year (trips we took, how we celebrated their birthday)
-Things they learned that year (anything from talking to tying shoes to learning how to bake)
-What they want to be when they grow up (these are really fun to read from year to year!)
-Things we hope they learn in the coming year (with older kids, they can set goals for the coming year)
Now that the kids are a little older, they LOVE looking back at their answers over the years. There are lots of exclamations of, “Oh! Remember when we went to the beach with Gigi!” and “I forgot how much I used to love the Backyardigans!” They can see how far they’ve come over the course of 12 months and look forward to what the future holds.
My favorite thing about this tradition is that it causes us to stop for a moment and reflect on the past year before plunging into New Year resolutions and to-do lists.Whether it’s remembering a fun vacation or pausing to acknowledge a hard thing, like losing a loved one, it’s so good to look back and see where we’ve been. It breeds gratitude, which is so important. It helps us to see just how much God has blessed us over the years.
What are your favorite New Year’s traditions?