A dear friend of mine just started doing Shabbat in her home on Friday nights. It is a beautiful Jewish tradition and each child receives a blessing from the Papap. There are candles and a special flow for the Sabbath evening. I automatically put the scene from Fiddler on the Roof, it can't be helped, I've seen it too often:)
Well we're not Jewish and the Papa in this home gets very uncomfortable giving speeches, or blessings, or anything else where he is the main focus. Did that mean we couldn't enjoy a special evening in our home? Of course not. I went out and purchased 6 little tealight candle holders and nice smelling tealights. 12 glass wine goblets cost the same as 8 dispoable ones, and they're just so pretty. Glass plates on a real fabric table cloth and sometimes the Papa brings flowers to adorn our lovely spread. We offer sparkling cider or grape juice. Dessert is also offered as part of our special Friday celebration. We eat and talk and laugh. Mama says a blessing while Papa smiles at his children.
"May you be like Saint Nina who went where the Lord led her to bring Salvation to people in distant lands"
"May you be like Saint Nicholas who blessed others by giving of what he had"
"May you be like Saint Anna who, along with her husband, had the faith to pray for 50 years to receive God's blessing"
"May you be like Saint Joseph who trusted the Lord even when it was hard."
"May you be like Saint George who fought the enemy with the strength of the Lord"
"May you be like Saint Micah who spoke to Lord's truth to His people."
The boys, especially, smile and blow out their candle as they are blessed. The mood for the rest of the eveing is quite positive, everyone a little more forgiving of the shortcomings of their siblings than they might be on "regular" days.
Let's hear it for establishing new traditions!