It’s Tuesday, and what are we having for dinner? Tacos, of course! My son decided that every Tuesday should be Taco Tuesday. I don’t know where he got the idea — probably The Lego Movie. Wherever he came up with it, I actually kind of like Taco Tuesdays.
It’s easy. I don’t have to think about what we’re having for dinner on Tuesdays. My husband makes it without asking me 900 questions about temperatures and cooking time and spices. Most of what we put in our tacos we can find in our pantry or refrigerator any night of the week. And tacos are flexible. You can have beef tacos, chicken tacos, turkey tacos, fish tacos, pork tacos . . . . This is Texas, after all. Put it in a tortilla with some salsa, and whatever it is, it just gets better.
It’s inexpensive. You can use whatever protein you have in the freezer or whatever happens to be on sale. Beans? Cheap. Canned veggies? Cheap. Rice? Cheap. Or, skip the meat and call it a burrito; tacos are flexible.
My kid eats it. Hello? The list of foods this kid will eat numbers less than 15 at the present moment, and tacos he’ll eat. And tacos have protein and veggies. So, if the kid wants tacos once a week, I’m happy to oblige.
It’s become a tradition. I think the unexpected thing I like most about Taco Tuesday is the ritual. A small, predictable, easy tradition like this invites us to sit down weekly and connect over a meal. My son feels empowered because it was his idea, and so he is more engaged at dinner time instead of trying to rush through it so he can squeeze in a little extra TV time before bed.
The idea of Taco Tuesday got me thinking about other easy, accessible rituals that we can make a part of our every day, and we started to incorporate them into our weekly routines. These everyday traditions are opportunities for us to spend some quality time together almost effortlessly. Here are a few that have worked well for my family.
Wednesday Night Survivor Night
This season, my son discovered Survivor. We made an exception for bedtime one night a week to let him stay up so we could watch it as a family. It doesn’t have to be Survivor. It could be any show that is entertaining for the whole family. When the season was over, we started watching the NBA playoffs together. Maybe for your family, it’s Cowboys games or American Ninja Warrior. The point is the time spent together.
Friday Night Movie Night
We order pizza. We watch a movie. We talk about taking turns picking the movie, and then we let the kid pick anyway. Dad makes popcorn, and I fall asleep on the couch. It’s the best day of the week.
Saturday Morning Farmers Market
Farmers market season is my favorite season! There are some amazing farmers markets in the area, and Keller’s market has recently gotten much bigger, and the walk through Bear Creek park is delightful. Every Saturday, I can’t stop smiling as I wander under the shade of the pecan trees, choosing fresh fruits and veggies for the week and checking out so many other fun finds. My husband gets to nose around the crafts and taste yummy honey and cheeses. We stop at the park before heading off on the next errand. If you asked my son, the best part of Saturday mornings is the snow cone. Yes, before lunch.
For your family, it could be a Sunday morning walk or Thursday night ice cream. None of these routines is really significant enough to be called an “event.” It isn’t really about what we’re doing; it’s the fact that we are doing it together. The predictability and the priority are what make these moments into something a little more special. Honoring the ritual, looking forward to the small everyday occasions and prioritizing them, takes ordinary moments and makes them memorable.
What are your family’s everyday traditions?