Most people don’t realize how much control they have in the development of their own family culture. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that most people have never honestly thought about their own family culture. But the fact is, family culture exists, and we either work to cultivate a positive one, or our circumstances and bad habits combine to create one for us. We all have flaws and weaknesses. Some of us are lazy. Some of us are too busy. Some of us are disorganized. Some of us are cleaning Nazis. None of us want our weaknesses to define the atmosphere in our homes.
So how do we stop that? How do we (flawed as we all are) create an environment within our homes that WE LOVE? A place where we and everybody around us want to be? How do we even figure out what we want in our family culture?
There are MILLIONS of ways to build a positive environment at home. The purpose of this blog is not to tell you which way is the right way. The purpose is to open your mind to some of the possibilities. To make you aware of the tools at your disposal. To help you evaluate the elements of your current family culture, and to connect you with ideas you’re excited to try. We want to empower and inspire you to make your home a magical place.
You might very well ask yourself what qualifications I have to write on this subject. My only answer is that I am a product of a magical home. I grew up in a happy, energetic atmosphere, and so did my parents, and so did my grandparents. I learned how to build a happy home by watching them build one. As a child I assumed everybody had this experience, but over time I’ve realized how terribly lucky I was, and how rare purposeful homemaking is in modern America. I’ve come to see how much our American culture undervalues the efforts and sacrifices my parents and grandparents made on my behalf, as they created safe, energetic, and exciting places for themselves and for me to live and grow.
The ideas shared in this series can be used by families of any shape or size to make home a magical place. There is no point where a family’s culture becomes un-salvageable. Life is hard, and bad things happen. My own family circle, has survived divorce, prison time, death, embittered feuds, cancer, drug addiction, and many other circumstances that don’t fit into the typical ingredients list for a “happy family.” Families can survive the harshest circumstances. In fact, some of us survive our circumstances BECAUSE of our families. That is the real magic of a magical home. Hope is never lost there. Comfort, peace, refuge, and inspiration flow out of it. It can absorb some of the violence and discouragement of life, and provide us with support and energy to face our greatest difficulties. Even ragged, imperfect families can offer this. Imagine how much more power we have to draw upon when we intentionally mold our family culture to reflect the ideals we value most.
And now, without further ado, allow me to introduce the blog posts linked below. Each one is about a different ingredient that adds up to create the environment and atmosphere you live in. As we discuss the role each ingredient has played in the development of our family culture, we hope you will share with us your own experiences in the comments!