“For every birthday in our immediate family, we gift the birthday person the Birthday Squirrel,” says Sara. “Basically it’s just two Beanie Baby squirrels inside a clear plastic handbag with pink faux-fur trim. We have no memory of how this tradition began or when the second squirrel was added (we started with just one), but it’s 100 percent imperative at every birthday celebration that the Birthday Squirrel be present,” she explains.
Weird? Sure. But it’s also an important family ritual that promotes bonding and is something that everyone looks forward to each year (including significant others who have now joined in on the fun).
These funny or sentimental things that only your family does are a key part of what it means to be a family. Even something small, like reading your kid a bedtime story each night, can be a meaningful ritual. And although these sets of behaviors may seem trivial to you, they’re actually crucial for your kid’s wellbeing. Here’s what you need to know about family rituals, including some fun ideas from other moms (in case you want some inspiration for your own brood).