Festibond this year was great, as usual. It’s sad to have Mom missing from the tradition, but we enjoyed each others company and the wonderful activities. We began the morning on Festibond with everyone pretty much getting up and begin to get ready for the day. There was also some working on the letters to each other. Once everyone was up and ready (in our matching clothes) we headed to Miss Portland Diner for breakfast. It was a short wait for a booth in the old part of it.
The food was good, and the discussions were great. It’s always very nice to spend time like this as a family. We next returned home, where, in a manner reflected across the last few Festibonds, we completed our letters. I was the last to finish mine, and as I so/after I completed them, we set up the snacks. The things to be done were mostly the assembly of the food and cutting up fruit and vegetables/quickly making the dips for both. The previous day had been when we did a lot of the preparing, such as shopping and baking. There was fudge (made by Skye), triple chocolate chip cookies (made by me), caramel popcorn (made by Jenna, fruit and a cream cheese fruit dip, veggies and a ranch dip, crackers, cheese, meat, chips and guacamole (made by Dad), and Martinelli’s.
Once again, our annual family holiday tradition of Festibond was outstanding. This year we celebrated on December 27. For those who are unfamiliar with this tradition we started several years ago, its purpose is to create and strengthen our family bonds, both individually and as a unit. Festibond actually encompasses a month or so beforehand with our writing meaningful and thoughtful letters to each other. Then about a week prior to Festibond Brent and I separately taking each of the girls out on one-on-one dates, and the girls and I bake sweets. On the day of Festibond we go out to breakfast, come home and read our letters to each other, spend time together playing games and doing other activities, and snack throughout the day on a light buffet and baked goods the girls and I previously prepared. We’ve changed and added a few things over the years, but our dates and the letters to each other are the primary focus. Continue reading Festibond 2014: Kirsten→
On Sunday the 29th of December our family celebrated our seventh Festibond. This is a tradition we started as a way to celebrate and strengthen our bonds with each other every year. We love this tradition, and I hope the girls continue it after they grow up and move away.
Within the week prior to Festibond, Brent and I each take each of the girls out individually for a date. The girls get to choose what they want to do. We still seem to come up with new ideas every year. We have each written a post on our blog about the dates. I love having that special one-on-one time with each of my wonderful daughters. They all change a little every year (obviously), each one unique in their own way. I thoroughly enjoyed every one of my dates!
Hayley and I had our Festibond date planned for several weeks. She and I were going to make a gingerbread house together. She was very excited about it. We also planned on going to a movie afterward. The day before our date, we went shopping for candy. It was fun to plan our our house ahead of time, and then find the plethora of candy necessary to achieve our creation. We found a good gingerbread recipe and used stencils I’d printed out from a website.
We baked the gingerbread pieces the day before our date as well, because I learned that it would make the gingerbread more dried-out and sturdy. Skye kindly volunteered to take pictures, so most of the photos I give credit to her. Thank you, Skye!
It took Skye a while to decide what she wanted to do for our Festibond date together. Early last week she said, “Let’s get manicures.” I thought that was a great idea. I usually keep my fingernails really short because they annoy me when I’m typing. Fortunately I hadn’t gotten around to cutting them for a while, so they would look better with polish.
We started out our date last Friday the 27th driving to Portland with music blasting while we loudly and enthusiastically sang along. It’s a tradition of ours when we ride in the car together, and great fun. Our first stop was Miss Portland Diner for breakfast. We’ve been there several times, so we knew the food was pretty good. Skye had her usual eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast, as well as a hot chocolate. I ordered the Greek omelette, which was really good. Spinach, mushrooms, and feta cheese make almost anything better. It was really nice sitting with Skye and talking about various things going on in her life. Continue reading Festibond 2013: My Date with Skye→
Jenna loves the arts and especially enjoys attending the theater to watch plays. When I asked her if she’d like to see a play for our Festibond date together this year, she quickly said yes. I originally wanted to take her to see Annie playing at the Lyric Music Theater in South Portland. I’d met a couple of great people at TEDxDirigo last month who were both performing in it. Unfortunately by the time I tried to purchase tickets, it was sold out. I searched other theater, ballet, and music venues, and Jenna decided on The Snow Queen playing at Portland Stage. Continue reading Festibond 2013: My Date with Jenna→
Festibond, the annual Danler holiday we started several years ago, has been a very rewarding and wonderful tradition for our family. Each year we choose a day at the end of December to celebrate Festibond. In the two weeks leading up to Festibond Brent and I have one-on-one dates with each of the girls and with each other. It is a valuable part of our bonding with each other, and I absolutely look forward to them.
This year we decided on December 29 for our Festibond. We always start out the day going out to eat for breakfast. Brent suggested The Good Table Restaurant in Cape Elizabeth this time. We wanted a place with good food and a nice atmosphere in which we could sit and talk without distractions. It was fun to be entertained by the girls and their singing and jokes as we drove up to Cape Elizabeth. The food was alright, but not amazing. However, when we all tried Hayley’s cinnamon bun we agreed that it was very good; each of the girls ordered one to take home. I enjoyed sitting with Brent and the girls around the table, talking, laughing, and discussing ideas and plans for the future.
2012 was the sixth year we did “Festibond.” It’s the annual celebration in which our singular purpose is to strengthen the bonds that hold our family together and make it great. It’s a collection of traditions including dates, letters, hugs, snacks, games, and breakfast. In 2007, the first year we had Festibond, it was an alternative to Christmas, a holiday I find incredibly silly. It’s no longer a replacement holiday; Festibond is entirely its own thing, and Christmas is something other people do.
Saturday, December 29, was the day this year that worked best with all of our schedules. In the weeks prior, we drafted our letters to each other and planned and went on dates. I took Skye to a Portland Pirates hockey game, Jenna bowling, Hayley to a movie, and Kirsten and I, who don’t normally go out as part of Festibond, went to dinner and watched a movie.
I always look forward to Festibond, and the preparations add to my excitement. My sisters and I baked goodies with mom, and we all spent time writing thoughtful letters to each other. I used the thesaurus a lot for my letters, not wanting to use many boring and overused words. I discovered some new words such as “hankering” and “gratify.” I enjoyed expanding my vocabulary while writing my letters.
I absolutely love our annual Festibond family tradition. Nothing generates closeness, love, and enjoyment like this holiday we created a few years ago.
In preparation for Festibond, I did some baking with the girls. Each of them picked a treat they liked, and I baked with them each individually. Of course we also spent a lot of time writing our special Festibond letters to each other.