Our family takes a day-and-a-half to do a family summit every year around the New Year.
Sometimes we go away for our summit to a hotel or rent an Airbnb, but last year that wasn’t in the budget. So, instead, we planned a bunch of locations around the city to do our summit.
Our summits always begin in the evening. We review last year’s calendar together and, with our journals, we spend about an hour writing about the previous year.
We go quarter-by-quarter writing about our favorite events and memories. We process why we enjoyed that event. We write about hard times throughout the year. We work to summarize the year’s themes and our biggest struggles.
Then, with journals in hand, we head to a nice restaurant downtown for what is often the longest and sometimes most enjoyable dinner of our year.
I like to get reservations at a foodie place and order small tasting plates because this meal is going to be 2-3 hours long.
Starting with the youngest, each person in the family reflects on the year.
We laugh a lot, sometimes we cry, and by the time the fifth course arrives we begin to have a complete picture of what our family’s year was like and all that God has done to bring us through.
With that complete, the next morning we launch into our summit looking forward to the New Year.
But I never forget those reflection meals. Each one is seared into my memory. The unique tastes of the dishes are somehow fused with particular memories that were shared. As the New Year approaches and we prepare for our summit, it’s the thing I find myself looking forward to the most.
P.S. Of course many of you have really young kiddos who aren’t ready for a meal like this, but I’d encourage you to start a family summit as a couple and prepare for the day when you’ll invite your kids one-by-one into this tradition.