Brent: Festibond 2008

To the person who this week said to me of us not celebrating Christmas, “that’s too bad”, I give you Festibond 2008.

Festibond 2007

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.

Festibond breakfast at Eggspectations
Festibond breakfast at Eggspectations

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.

Festibond Letters 2008
Festibond Letters 2008

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.

Skye made this keepsake box for us at school
Skye made this keepsake box for us at school
Jenna gave Hayley her favorite book, The Giving Tree
Jenna gave Hayley her favorite book, The Giving Tree
Jenna hugs Skye after giving her a puzzle
Jenna hugs Skye after giving her a puzzle
Hayley reads her letter to Jenna
Hayley reads her letter to Jenna
Jenna hugs Hayley after opening her gift
Jenna hugs Hayley after opening her gift
Hayley follows along as someone reads her a letter
Hayley follows along as someone reads her a letter
Kirsten and Jenna embrace during Festibond 2008
Kirsten and Jenna embrace during Festibond 2008
Skye gave Jenna a paint-by-number kit
Skye gave Jenna a paint-by-number kit

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.

Macaroni and cheese
Macaroni and cheese

Hayley and Kirsten baked together throughout the afternoon.

Who is helping whom?
Who is helping whom?

One of my favorite Festibond activities is playing games together. This year we played Uno H2O and Uno Rummy-Up.

Jenna concentrates on her strategy
Jenna concentrates on her strategy
Skye prepares her tiles for play
Skye prepares her tiles for play

What would a winter holiday be without fresh homemade eggnog?

Kirsten adds nutmeg to the girls' eggnog
Kirsten adds nutmeg to the girls' eggnog
And whiskey to ours
And whiskey to ours
Delicious!
Delicious!
The cookies are almost done
The cookies are almost done
Kirsten and Hayley baked wonderful treats
Kirsten and Hayley baked wonderful treats

Festibond 2008 was a tremendous success. We played and we loved and we laughed. I’m already excited for the next Festibond.

11 thoughts on “Brent: Festibond 2008”

  1. Great post, Brent. I love our Festibond tradition too. It is so meaningful and I agree with you about the feelings of love and appreciation that are present.

    You took some awesome pictures! I love how you captured the essence of each moment.

  2. @Dave – LOL. It’s similar to Festivus in that we just made it up. I didn’t know about Festivus until after we created Festibond. And we don’t have an “Airing of Grievances”. ;)

    Cheers. It’s great to see you here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *