As I’ve grown up, I’ve noticed that more and more, my Sabbath activities involve a screen. Whether I’m reading scriptures on my iPad, watching Bible videos on my laptop, or FaceTiming with an old friend, many of the Sabbath activities I used to do as a child have become lost in a world of busy screens and technology. But, while skimming through Kimberly Bytheway’s book Traditions: Creating Memories to Draw Your Family Close, I was reminded of the peace that these simple Sunday traditions could bring—even without a screen.
1. Journal Writing
“Sunday afternoons are a great time to sit down at the table as a family and write in journals. When the children are young, have them dictate to Mom or Dad, who then write down all of the thoughts and feelings of young minds.”
We have been commanded to be a record-keeping people, and what better time to sit down and write our reflections than on a Sunday afternoon? And if you don’t feel like writing, try going back and reading old journals. I love looking through my old journals and seeing how I’ve progressed and remembering thoughts and feelings that were important to me.
2. Father’s Interview
“Once a month, have a personal father’s interview with each member of the family (including Mom). This will be a great opportunity to keep track of each person’s spiritual, emotional, and even social progress.”
I remember having Sunday daddy-daughter interviews. It was a time when I could have my dad’s undivided attention. We could talk through problems, laugh, or pray together, and it really set the tone for our Sabbath day.
3. Church Meeting Thank-You
“After church, sit down as a family and discuss the things that you learned in sacrament meeting. Together, compose thank-you cards for the people who spoke, mentioning specific things that you appreciated about their messages. You might even take a small treat along with your notes to the people who made a difference in you Sabbath meetings.”
We never did this one at my house, but I think it’s a great idea to provide extra motivation to listen to the speakers and learn from them. If you want to switch things up one week, you could also write notes to relatives or missionaries who live too far away to visit regularly.