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How to Have Fun as a Family While Striving for Holiness

It’s pretty common knowledge in the Catholic world that our goal in life is to get to Heaven, and if we’re married, to get our spouse to Heaven. And if we have children, to get them to Heaven too.

What is less talked about is how striving for holiness doesn’t mean we can’t have any fun! We’re all about striving for holiness in marriage and family life while still having fun in the process. No, it’s not always fun (because any vocation has its difficult moments), but there are still things we can do to make sure we live the beauty of our Catholic faith and enjoy time with our spouse and children.

Some of our kids’ favorite memories are from the times we were intentional about having fun family time together.

Because the greatest gift you can give your children is the gift of a great marriage, we also wanted to share some tips and ideas about dating your spouse and routinely having fun together.

This will change as our kids get older, so it’s important to figure out what works best for you and your children and their ages. If you need some ideas, here are some ways that we have fun with our kids! (And keep reading for some ideas for your marriage!)

1. Spontaneous dance parties in the kitchen

Sometimes after dinner, we put on some music and dance like crazy. We think it’s important for kids to see their parents have fun and to especially have fun together as a family! What’s been neat about this is that a couple of our kids have really learned to let loose … and their dance skills are pretty amazing too.

2. Weekly movie nights

Once our kids started going to school outside the home, we limited screen time during the week. That led to the start of “family movie night” every Friday, which our kids look forward to every week. It also gives us the chance to discuss certain themes that may come up in the movies we watch.

3. Game nights

We’ve always been big fans of board games, and we realized that the beauty of our kids getting older is that they can play with us now! Our favorites are Catan, Carcassonne, and Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza (why yes, that last one is every bit as silly as it sounds!) Games are a fun way to teach critical thinking and other skills, like counting money (think Monopoly).

Just a tip: Our kids can usually learn how to play a game earlier than the suggested age. Catan says ages 10+, but our middle child learned it this past year at age 6. (But there’s also a Catan Jr game which is fun too.) This will vary from kid to kid, but the more games you play, the easier it is to learn other ones.

Don’t forget about your marriage too.

Because the greatest gift you can give your children is the gift of a great marriage, we also wanted to share some tips and ideas about dating your spouse and routinely having fun together.

While date nights are certainly not a requirement for a great marriage, we’ve found that consistent dates provide the perfect opportunity to focus on one another and our relationship. Remember that dates don’t need to be fancy! It’s just a matter of dedicating some time to spend together, whether you’re at home, your car, or anywhere else … and anytime of day, evening or daytime. When our kids were younger, we went for drives during their nap time, and while they slept, we’d pick up coffee to share and just talk to each other, soaking up the quiet time.

During each date, we try to do 3 things:

1. Connect spiritually. This could be anything as simple as a quick prayer said in the car together, or attending daily Mass together. We often pray a rosary on the way to our date, and we like to stop at an adoration chapel or church on our way home to spend a quick visit with Jesus.

2. Connect emotionally. It’s very easy to just go eat dinner and watch a movie without really connecting and taking the time to talk about things other than work and our kids. So we try to be intentional about talking about other things, like how we’re both doing with life and anything else that might be hard to talk about at home with so many distractions.

3. Try something new. This might be the tricky one for most people, but it actually makes such a difference! It can be anything from trying a new restaurant to doing something a little more exciting, like taking a dance class. Trying new things together can create some great memories, and you might discover some shared interests in the process.

If there was one piece of advice that we’d want to share with you about having fun in your marriage and family life, it would be this: keep it simple.

Just like the Gospel is simple—love one another—we don’t need to overcomplicate things in our family life either. Find what your family loves to do and do it often.