You will love this. It’s one of those things that I looked forward to before it happened but after the fact, I loved it so much that I feel the need to share it with everyone.
It’s a party. A family party.
But not just any family party.
A party dedicated to celebrating….really celebrating….EVERYONE in our immediate family. Here’s the thing, though. It is a family party that will work for ANY group – youth groups, Activity Days, even co-workers. Totally applicable – just tweak it to fit your needs.
There have been a lot of great things happening in our family recently and my sister, Kara, decided to throw a party for all of us to recognize what an awesome family we have. We are the Coleman family and COLEMANS ROCK! This party included our parents and our siblings’ families. There are 6 siblings in my family and 17 grandchildren. Everyone who could make it came to the celebration.
1. INVITATIONS - ask everyone to send in 3-4 things about each person in their immediate family. Some people had no problem sharing their awesomeness on their own and some people needed a family member to submit their accomplishments for them – either way is fine. Just find 3-4 things that you can share about each person. It was easy to email the lists to Kara before the party. But be prepared to hound some of the people to get their lists in or to help them come up with ideas. You can also assign food for a dinner or lunch if you choose.
2. ACCOMPLISHMENTS – we kept it simple and just hand wrote each person’s accomplishments and talents on bright colored paper squares. Multiple people helped write them because it took forever. It’s ok if they’re not perfect or the same or extravagant. Remember the purpose – to share why each person in the family ROCKS….it’s not about perfect-looking writing.
What do you think happened as people trickled in to the party that day? Reading. Laughing. Talking. Sharing. Celebrating. “Wow, you ran a half marathon? I didn’t know that! Awesome!” “That is so exciting that you got into the Nursing Program. You will be great!” “Tell me about your new job.” “Hey, did you see Mackenzie’s over there? That’s a good one!”
Keep in mind that EVERYONE who was going to be there that night had their own accomplishments included. My niece brought her boyfriend – we learned that he won a 4-wheeler in a milk-drinking contest. My other niece had brought her friend with them on their family vacation from Washington. We learned that she is #1 in her class and on track for Valedictorian next year. What???!!! Awesome!
3. DINNER – we like planned pot lucks in our family so Kara planned the Mexican menu and everyone contributed something to the cause, helping to get it ready all together.
4. PROGRAM / LESSON – Kara was brilliant in planning the lesson portion of the evening. Very short. Kept it light but meaningful. Perfect. My brother, Kyle, gave a short lesson about magnifying your talents (see below). Jason spoke about his Grandma Hall who was a celebrator. She liked to play the game, “Why is it Like Me?” and for each person’s birthday, they did “I Love ___________ Because….” (see below for instructions of each game). He shared why these habits were so important for their family to do together and how amazing it is that we can share that same celebrating attitude in our family. Colemans Rock! We love celebrating each other!
The messages were short, taught important lessons, and were applicable to all ages in attendance.
Talents Lesson Overview:
- Pass around clear pebbles or marbles and have everyone take one. Discuss how each is individual just like each of us.
- Ask everyone to think about a talent that they have and how that talent has helped someone. Have a few people share (Kyle knew who he wanted to share in advance – people who don’t normally want the spotlight, and people of different ages – this was a really special part of the lesson when we got to hear why each person is awesome). Ask one person in advance to choose NOT to share something about themselves when asked – this is a secret.
- When each of the 4 people share, give them another pebble if they share their talent with us. Take away their pebble if they choose not to share.
- Retell the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30.
- Each of us has been given our own talents and when we share them with others, we are given more talents. God wants us to recognize our talents and share them with others for good. Where can we find out what our talents are? (patriarchal blessing, work opportunities, prayer and personal revelation, others can tell us, etc.)
- When we recognize our talents and work to develop them and share them, we are given more talents and we are happy.
“Why Is It Like Me?” Game
- One person goes out of the room. As a group, the other people in the room choose one item in the room that they want the person to guess.
- The person comes back in and says, “Why is it like me?
- Giving positive clues, the group tells them why the item is like that person. “It is bright.” “It shines.” “It smells great!” Whatever you choose – the clues being harder for older people and easier for younger ones.
- The person guesses till they discover the item – feeling GREAT because everyone just said such nice things about them!
“I Love __________ Because….”
This family tradition has lasted through to our generation. On your birthday or other special day, everyone goes around the table and tells why they love the birthday person. It doesn’t matter if you are a friend visiting and you just met the birthday person for the first time that day or not – everyone tells why they love the birthday person. We have warned many friends attending our family events to be prepared because they will not be given a pass!
This tradition does two things: 1. It teaches everyone how to celebrate each other. 2. It teaches YOU to accept compliments and love from others.
I believe that this is why Jason’s family is so good at recognizing each other’s talents and why they have a strong sense of self. They have PRACTICED it their whole lives so now they are good at it. It is an amazing quality to develop in a family.
5. DANCE PARTY – the evening ended in a spontaneous dance party, complete with a Congo Line and singing along to the “Frozen” soundtrack, of course.
Simple. Meaningful. Fun. My three favorite descriptive words for any event. Don’t you wish you were there?