I love traditions, and Christmas Family Date Day is one of my favorites.
Each year, just before Christmas, our family skips town for the day and spends the whole thing together.
We always begin doing some kind of simple service project, with a way to give back to someone else. This year we made cards and bookmarks (in advance) and delivered them to a local nursing home, visiting with the residents as we pass out our goodies.
Then we headed further away to the city, where we took the kids shopping and let them pick out a small gift for each other. We headed to a nice restaurant (with a very generous kids' deal) for a fancy lunch.
After that we went to a dinner/movie, where we skipped the dinner part and paid a matinee special price to watch Dolphin Tale, a true story about a boy and a dolphin. Since our kids - and especially my Little Man - love sea creatures, this was great.
Finally, we headed to downtown Raleigh, where WinterFest was in full swing. On the top of a parking garage downtown an ice rink had been built, and with lights in the trees nearby, it was beautiful. I hadn't ice skated in years, but my kids - and even my husband - had never been. When they saw the skaters, their eyes lit up, and they eagerly asked to try it. We took to the ice until it got really crowded, and then headed out for a simple supper and home.
It was a wonderful Christmas season day - with not a single bit of shopping for self or decorating or dishes, but instead a day away from (most) of the commercialism and a grand adventure together.
Making memories with my family is one of my very favorite things.
I love that God gives us these out-of-our-ordinary, creative days to "store up in our hearts."
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