Even in the most loving of families, children and parents alike are guilty of taking each other for granted. Being intentional about appreciating your family helps cultivate a spirit of love and gratitude in your home. Here are three ways your family members can show how much they appreciate each other on a special Family Appreciation Day.
I was working quietly in the master bedroom, fingers clicking on the keys, when my daughter found me.
“Mom, I have a great idea,” she said, flopping on the bed, her blue eyes focusing on me. Warily, I looked up from my screen. My oldest daughter is the one who always asks me if I’m “feeling generous,” and she’s constantly coming up with “great ideas.” As our resident party planner, I never know if she’ll ask me to design a treasure hunt or throw a birthday party for her favorite stuffed animal. The calculations were still moving through my mind as she continued talking.
“I want to do a Family Appreciation Day.”
Her idea was simple: a designated day to celebrate all of the members of our family in small ways. Nothing would have to cost money; all of the ideas were simply thoughtful ways to show others we cared.
Since it was a quiet weekend, I agreed to let her come up with a plan. By the end of the day, it had become the highlight of my week! When our celebration ended a few hours later, we decided to make the day an annual affair.
HOW TO CELEBRATE FAMILY APPRECIATION DAY
Most of these small crafts can be assembled using items you have on hand, although you might want to do a quick check beforehand.
1. Create Compliment Cards
- Stickers or other decorations (optional)
Using rectangular-sized cardstock, fold the sheet in half in order to make a card. Have each person write their name or draw a picture of themselves on the outside of the card. Next, pass the cards one at a time to the left while sitting in a circle or around a table. Each time a person receives a new card, they should open it and write or draw something that they love about the sibling or parent whose name is featured on the front.
Once the cards make their way back to the original owner, take turns reading aloud the sweet sentiments written by others.
2. Show Love With Scratch-Off Coupons
One of my kids’ favorite gifts for one another are ‘coupons’ they create using scratch offs.
- Scratch-offs (either purchased or DIY—see process below)
Using cardstock, cut out coupon cards that are about 4 x 6 inches in size. Next, have family members create individual coupons for other family members. Ideas include completing a specific chore or loaning a toy or stuffed animal to a sibling for a certain amount of time. Once the idea has been written down, cover the ‘gift’ with a scratch-off sticker or paint. Then, exchange cards and take turns uncovering the surprise.
In our family, my 5-year-old daughter gave each of us 10 kisses and let her sisters sleep with her favorite Care Bear. Our 8-year-old told her little sister she would clean her room. Our 10-year-old offered to make breakfast in bed on a weekend. I gave each of my daughters a one-on-one Mama Date outside of the house and offered to make my husband’s favorite meal on his day of choosing. Each gift cost nothing, yet all of them brought so much excitement. Some of the coupons were redeemed immediately, while others were tucked away to be redeemed at a later date.
If creating DIY scratch-offs, you’ll need:
- Paint (I used acrylic)
- Dish soap
- Clear packing tape
- Make paint mixture—two parts paint, one part dish soap—and stir until well-mixed.
- Using pens or markers, write down the gift on the card, then cover the area with clear packing tape.
- Cover the scratch-off area with paint, letting it dry before adding another coat. It will likely require three or more coats in order to be opaque.
- That’s it! Once it’s dry, use a coin to scratch off the paint and reveal the surprise.
3. Make It a Party
Bake or pick up a local cake, grab some fancy napkins, and turn “Family Appreciation Day” into a celebration.
Additional ways to make it feel like a celebration:
- Create and listen to a song playlist of family favorites.
- Decorate a room with streamers or balloons before exchanging scratch-off coupons or compliment cards.
- Make (or order in) favorite family foods for dinner.
- End the day with a family movie or game night, filled with favorites.
No matter how you craft your own Family Appreciation Day, choosing to set aside time to be present and enjoy the gift of one another in small but meaningful acts can go a long way in strengthening hearts and family bonds. Pick a day, and delight in celebrating and cheering one another on with intention!
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