In the faith Buds and I have chosen to raise the children, Unitarian Universalism, a flaming chalice is the symbol we use to represent the light of truth through flame, as well as a drinking vessel which has connections to Christ’s last supper, as well as a shared community.
With a goal of creating more family rituals, we helped each of the children create their own mini-chalice using a votive candle and small clay flower pots. (Okay, the Buster just has a plain clay pot with a votive and a marble rolling around in it, but he seems happy with it.) Then, thanks to a wonderful mosaic class I won through the church auction, I created a base on which to set the three mini-chalices. Every night, after Buddie returns home from work, before bed, we gather at the dining room table and each person tells one or more things s/he is thankful for from that day.
I’m still learning my favorite parts of this newly-created tradition. We’ve been sharing it for a couple weeks now, and it has brought such a sense of connection and peace to our evenings. The children love blowing out the candles, and they still often say the same things over and over about what they are thankful for. In fact, The Buster has yet to say he is thankful for anything besides me, but Buddie and I truly try to think of something special from our day to share, and just learning to sit and listen…truly listen…to each other has been a good lesson for all of us.
I’d like to see us continue to add rituals and traditions into our daily life together. I don’t know that we’ll be a “sit down around the table and eat meals” type family any time soon, but this is one moment where we create those family ties that hold us together.