Over the holidays I read The Book of New Family Traditions. I hadn't really thought about the difference between traditions and rituals; we have lots of traditions, especially associated with the holidays throughout the year (Easter egg hunt! Halloween train!) but not really many rituals. I'd say, for example, that Z's bedtime routine is that, and not exactly a ritual per se. Cox's book talks a lot about rituals as ways to smooth out the transitions and troubles of the day. I hadn't really thought about it that way - the bedtime reading with Z is part of his winding down process as well as an important developmental/educational activity.
So this year we decided to institute some rituals:
* a family hug when we leave and arrive home
* saying what we're thankful for at dinner
* family dinners most nights
* pizza/grocery shopping every Friday night
The family hug is really the only "new" ritual, and it is a lovely, calming way to bracket the day, or to welcome home someone. Even though we've only done it for a week or so, Z already expects his "câlin" (hug).
Instead of resolutions, we are trying this year to accomplish some goals as a family. We've tried to do everything on the list from time to time but never really codified it. The first item is the most important, and is in anticipation of some big changes in our financial situation. When Z starts PK3 this fall, the onerous costs of daycare will disappear, but we also want to continue working on student loans, do some home renovations, set up a trust for Z (lawyer fees), and start long term care insurance.
* manage our finances well
* speak French consistently
* go outdoors more often
* complete potty training
* have at least one dinner party a month
Right now I am in the middle of the 21 Day Financial Fast which has been hard but OK. Granted I'm doing a modified version (cheating?) because I allow myself to buy lunch or other food items and stuff for Z (like new undies) but otherwise I've really tried to be disciplined. It makes MoBob, the family CFO, happy, anyway.