My family celebrated Festus (our own thing, read on…) for the eighth time this afternoon, an annual excuse of ours to get together and have some fun. It all started back in 2005 when I read an article about how people view things they have done three times as “tradition”, so I thought “Why not create our own?”. I presented the idea during a Christmas dinner that year and we decided to make it a summer gathering, with some easy games, good food and a fine excuse to just meet each other. So we had our own Festus (I just made up the name, it sounds OK) for the first time in July 2006 and it was a success for sure.
To make it more fun I purchased a Golden Trophy (see inserted picture) and inscripted the name Festus on it. When the games are over, the winner gets to keep the trophy for a year. We fill it with candy and it is always a big thing for the children when we bring it out. Good fun actually. Good fun for the winner to hold it for a year as well. I think the trophy kind of nailed it.
I am really glad that we thought of this. The winner gets to pick next years location and we have been in some really beautiful places around Lake Storsjön (The Great Lake) over the years. This year, we had a location (in Östersund) fairly close but not right at the shore this time (usually, we have been outside of town). Still, beautiful view. I took a walk down to the lake with one of the kids after the festivities were over and took some snapshots at the lake. The wind made good looking waves that I wanted to catch.
I did send a letter about this idea to a major magazine called På Landet that was published in issue 8 2007, so I guess others may have picked up on it and created their own variations. It makes sense, why not have some fun once a year in the summer, catching up?
For the children, growing up with this, it will be a natural thing that just happens. I like that – this is here to stay in this family. We all enjoy it and yet it is no big deal. Some people are travelling quite far to be part of it though, which is amazing. We can also invite friends if we want to. If one of them should win the trophy, the person that invited said friend gets to keep the trophy. You need little rules like that, but it is not rocket science.
I can recommend that you create your own thing and have a go. Call it Festus, call it whatever you like. Just have some fun and enjoy your own thing, your own tradition.
At least, this is a tradition worthy of your time.