Several weeks ago, Barb Raveling shared on Cornerstone Confessions about How to Raise Kids Who Don’t Struggle With Weight. By the resulting comments, this is a topic that many of you find of great concern, especially in our modern fast food society. One of the discussions that resulted, was a result of her fourth tip: Don’t tie all celebrations to food. The overall thoughts? Great tip, but what are some ways we can celebrate that DON’T involve food?
Great question, yes? I mean we celebrate with food all the time. It’s our anniversary. What do we do? Go out to eat. It’s our children’s birthday. What do we do? Celebrate with cake and ice cream. It’s a church social. What do we do? Bring a potluck dish. A child earns all A’s on a report card. What do we do? Take them out for ice cream. Celebrating with food is cultural. It’s what we do…or what we THINK we need to do.
While celebrating with food occasionally is okay, it should be special, so how can we still celebrate WITHOUT food? Here are 20 ideas to get you started. Feel free to add additional ideas in the comments. Together we can set a better example for our children and still make celebrations special, but WITHOUT the food.
20 Ways to Celebrate WITHOUT Food
- board games. Play a favorite game together.
- stickers. This is especially useful with little ones, but believe it or not, my high school students thought it just as fun to compete for a sticker in choir rehearsals. They loved the boasting rights.
- sports. Play a sport together. Go hiking…skiing…skating…bowling…sky diving. Do something fun and active together.
- service. Serve at a homeless shelter together or help a church family pick up fallen limbs in their yard. Have guests bring cans of food for a food drive instead of presents or make cards to send to children in a pediatric hospital. Or even serve the one you are celebrating with by cleaning their room for a week or raking leaves for them.
- a sponsorship. Sponsor a child overseas in honor of the special day or purchase some Gideon Bibles honoring your special someone.
- a craft. Make a wreath for the front door together. Go to the local pottery shop and paint a new pencil holder. Make glittery photo frames together that guests can take home when they leave. Just do a Pinterest search and you will find many ideas for nearly every style of crafter.
- a treasure hunt. There are lots of options here. You can do a hunt in the house, around town, or even go geo-catching. And don’t forget there are different forms too–video, photo, paper. The options are endless.
- a concert. Is there a favorite artist you enjoy? Or a musical you want to see? Go to a concert together!
- a movie. Similar to #7, but only in cinema form. What movie have you been wanting to see? Go see it in the theatre, or prop a white blanket up in the backyard and have your own “drive-in” theatre for friends and family to enjoy.
- photos. Make a photo album to share. Or, have a photo shoot where all the guests get to dress up and enjoy their own photo session and complimentary photo.
- dancing. Go dancing together or have your own dance party on the living room floor.
- a trip to a park. Play on the park equipment. Go fishing in the neighborhood pond. Have fun in the nearby outdoors.
- a swim. Have a pool party. Go to the beach. Have lap races complete with little medals for the winners.
- a museum. Tour a museum together. Play all day at the children’s museum. Fill your mind with some amazing new information, and feel special while doing it.
- a shopping trip. Go shopping for some new clothes, toys, or furniture. Whatever floats your honorary’s boat and fits in your budget.
- a trip to a beauty salon. A pedicure, manicure, facial, hair cut, and massage are always welcome celebrations in my mind.
- plants. Plant some new flowers or a tree outside to commemorate the moment. Or, find some fresh flowers to add to the supper table to make the day special. Even my girls think getting fresh flowers for a special occasion is something exciting.
- a day off. Take the day off from work or school. Take a nap. Sleep in. Read a book. Enjoy the moment.
- a mini-vacation. We like to go camping on birthdays, but maybe there is another location in your state you’ve been wanting to see/do and haven’t taken the time. Make the vacation part of your celebration.
- decorations. Decorate your child’s bedroom with lots of balloons for her special day, or let him eat breakfast from a special birthday plate. You still have to eat after all, but this way, the celebration is not about the food, but the plate.