When you think about the 'American Family' what comes to mind? Are you envisioning the typical 'Soccer Mom Family' with junior running off to play softball while little Sally takes a ballet lesson, and Mom dashes off to a spinning class as Dad plays a round of golf?
Even when the entire family spends an evening at home they do so separately. Dad works on his laptop while junior plays video games with his new gaming system. Mom is on the cell phone while she does the laundry, and little Sally watches a DVD.
Perhaps you have heard of a concept called 'quality time', coined during the 1980's as families noticed that they were too busy to spend 'quantity time' together anymore. Now it seems that quality time is being sacrificed for 'let me entertain myself please time".
If you know a family who is growing apart instead of together you might want to consider buying them a year's worth of family fun gifts to put the 'quality' back in family time.
January is a great time to enjoy winter sports. Tickets to an ice rink for a family skate, or to the ski slopes for a day of ski rental is great for families with school-aged children. In February a gift certificate for a Valentine's Day brunch at a local restaurant will help fan the flames of family love.
March into spring with passes to a home show, a boat show, or a car show. April showers bring May flowers, so a gift certificate to a local plant nursery will give the family a chance to buy some spring seedlings for planting together. May is for music. Tickets to an outdoor concert will get the family out for some fresh air and they can move to the groove together.
June is steamy, so cool your favorite family off with tickets to a water park. July's fireworks are great fun to watch while enjoying a picnic dinner purchased with a gift certificate from a local deli. August is the perfect time for a boat cruise along a local river or lake. If there are no waterways near your family consider buying passes to a local 'ropes course' where counselors will assist the family in working as a team and building trust between family members.
September is the busiest of all months for most families, so how about treating your family to a pancake breakfast at the local flapjack house. Eating lots of sugar is a great way to start off a busy Saturday! October is haunted house month, and most of these spooky attractions sell gift certificates.
November always has family fare at the movie theater, so movie passes along with gift certificates to the concession stand make the perfect indoor outing as the winds of winter begin to blow. December is the time for homemade sweets and treats, so end the year by having the local grocery deliver a bag or two of ingredients for an afternoon of family cookie baking.
Remember, the family who plays together, stays together. Give a family you love a year's worth of playtime, and maybe, if you are lucky, they will invite you along to share in the fun!