We are generally a happy family. In fact, my son's name means "happy," and we chose it for that reason. Because we have every reason to BE happy - health, love, home, our Lord... in no particular order. But day-to-day life can be draining, so I make the extra effort to sprinkle sparks of happiness throughout our days to keep us all happy. (Baby doesn't need to make an extra effort - he can't help but make us happy!).
Post it notes kind of just evolved as a way to add a slip of happiness into the day. My husband and I often trade little notes with words of affection, nicknames, or just a smiley face. We put them on the fridge, the computer, the counter, my purse and his school bag to surprise each other. It's a delight to find a brightly colored square with a note of encouragement or feeling in an unexpected place.
Games we play - The frog - okay, you might not be able to do this one specifically but the idea is that a happy moment can be found in a simple, silly game. I forget how it started, but our baby had a bath toy squirt frog about the size of a small fist. I left it on the bathroom counter one day, and my husband perched it atop my faucet. The next day I perched it on HIS faucet. The day after he hid it in the medicine cabinet. I folded it under his bath towel, he put it in my lingerie drawer. I put it into his shirt pocket, only to find the frog show up in my Kleenex box. I am always thinking about where my husband might be surprised by the frog, and this idea that we think about each other's habits to position the frog in such a way as to be found within 24 hours is a fun and bright spot. It's so silly, but it makes us happy whenever the frog turn up. Maybe you can find a silly object to trade back and forth with your family - perhaps a special privilege could come with it for the child who finds it each day, like getting a special plate at dinner or something.
Personal touch. Hugs and kisses. I read somewhere that stress can be released simply by holding the hand of the one you love. So let's take that further into hugs and kisses! We trade hugs and kisses OFTEN in our family and NEVER arrive or leave without them! We're not huge on saying "I love you" 24/7 (although it definitely gets said at least once a day!), but we do use physical touch to add a warm spot to the day.
Being happy definitely comes from inside oneself, but it's always a good idea to help your family fan the flames of happiness! It's the little things that ad a spark - a touch, a surprise, a word... is all it takes for our family to keep on going even through a rough spot!
How do you keep your family happy?
Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Farm Rich blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.