To kickoff each season, we create a new family manifesto. We gather together and write down a handful of things we want to focus on for that upcoming season. I've come to love this tradition, it is a wonderful check-in and guides us down the path that we want to stay on.
This upcoming autumn, we are keeping it really simple. In past seasons, we've had goals like "grow something edible" or "do art for the sake of doing art" but this season we know better than to be ambitious with moving and welcoming a new baby happening at the same time.
Autumn 2009 Family Manifesto
1. Welcome the season into our home
2. Homemade pumpkin pie & caramel apples
3. More outdoor cooking & dinners under the stars
4. Cozy up around the fireplace with hot cocoa
5. Pumpkin patch & pumpkins! (this one was my son's contribution)
It amazes me that my son always has something appropriate to add, he really "gets it" when we have this seasonal manifesto talk and I think he enjoys being a part of it. The very first time we did this he wasn't yet two and his contribution was "More Pancakes!" which was rather poignant since we only tend make pancakes on special lazy weekends when we are all at home for breakfast. It really said a lot without saying much.
If you decide to start this tradition with your family, try to keep your list small. A list that gets too long tends to just become a "to do" list and will be harder to remember. Focus on fun things (rather than tasks like cleaning out your rain gutters) so it stays fun for everyone. Remember, every family member should be involved!
We write our seasonal list while having a seasonal kick off celebration, so everyone gets in the mood. For example, we wrote our Spring list during the first spring picnic in a park, the Summer list was written at the beach and our Autumn manifesto discussion was perfectly accompanied by apple pie and a late night walk in crisp air. We write it up and then tack it to the fridge or the front door.
PS - yes, I know Autumn hasn't officially started yet. Not for what, another 2 weeks? We just couldn't wait this year!
What are you hoping to focus on this Autumn with your family?