To the person who this week said to me of us not celebrating Christmas, “that’s too bad”, I give you Festibond 2008.
Today we celebrated Festibond. There’s nothing important or significant about the day we selected other than it was convenient for us. It has been one of my best days of the year. The value of Festibond to our family is immeasurable.
Festibond preparations began yesterday when each member of the family wrote a letter to each other member of the family. After the girls made their initial drafts Kirsten and I helped them brainstorm and rewrite. We also went shopping. The girls used their small budgets to purchase gifts for their sisters. They didn’t buy anything for Kirsten and me and we didn’t get anything for each other. Which is just the way it should be.
This morning I assembled the letters and prepared them for Kinkos. Then we went to breakfast. We ate at Eggspectations because we all like it and that’s where we went last year. It was wonderfully delicious, of course.
After breakfast we stopped by Kinkos so I could finish copying and assembling the Festibond letter booklets. Each booklet is unique and contains the letters to one member of the family. I hope it is something the girls will treasure for decades to come.
Kirsten and I designed the gift-giving portion of Festibond to minimize as much as possible the excitement of gift-getting. Each person reads to one member of the family their letter and then gives them a hug and a gift. After the gift is opened there is another hug (and a photo). This process is repeated until the person has read all their letters and given all their gifts. Then someone else takes their turn reading their letters and giving their gifts.
We try very hard to keep the bond in Festibond. And it works. Feelings of love and appreciation for each other are palpable. I love that.
For dinner Kirsten made one of my favorite meals: macaroni and cheese. The girls all like it, too. Except for Kirsten. We also had a nice green salad.
Hayley and Kirsten baked together throughout the afternoon.
One of my favorite Festibond activities is playing games together. This year we played Uno H2O and Uno Rummy-Up.
What would a winter holiday be without fresh homemade eggnog?
Festibond 2008 was a tremendous success. We played and we loved and we laughed. I’m already excited for the next Festibond.