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Turning 13: A Meaningful Way to Celebrate a Child (Winter Version)

December 27, 2019

snow scene, cat track, winter trail, skiing

I wrote several years ago about what we do in our family when a child turns 13. It’s a major milestone in a child’s life, and we wanted to mark it well, so we created a “walk” that a child takes through a forest path, and in this case, a winter trail.

You can read the original post here that explains the tradition in full.

We adapt this tradition for each child based on their personality, and tailor it for the time of year their birthday falls. My son, Stetson, has a birthday in December, so we decided to do a ski version.

Stetson started at the top of a little known cat track at a local ski resort. We placed ourselves at various points along the way.

The goal at each stop is for each person to bless the birthday child. This video shows Stetson and his brother, Hudson.

Stetson loves golf so everyone gave him a different golf ball with a word that describes him on it. Some of the golf balls were really unique and fun. They gave him another gift as well, but the golf balls were an easy thing to give him along the trail and gave each person a jumping off point to talk to him.

Skier, grandfather, grandson, winter, ski, generations, skiing

My Dad taught Stetson to ski. It seemed so fitting that we would do this tradition on skis at least one time considering all of the time my Dad put in to teaching all of the kids his old racer ways.

I love this video of Stetson’s youngest cousin, Gwynnie, giving him a blessing and a golf ball, and he giving her the biggest hug!

cousins, skiing, winter, ski

We have seen close up the impact cousins have on one another. It is an incredible gift to share life with cousins the way we do. Watching the cousins and siblings bless Stetson was so special.

winter, ski, skiing, Schweitzer
winter, schweitzer, skiing, ski, winter boots, winter hats

This tradition takes some organizing, but I can’t express enough how much it is worth the effort. Each child feels so valued and set apart. It matters.

We went inside and spent some time praying over him. It was a special 13th.

You can save this post for later by pinning this image:

trees, ski, skiing, birthday, father, son, winter, 13th birthday

I’d love you to share what you do for your child’s milestone birthday below!

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  1. […] of year for birthdays make a difference! To see our ski/winter version of this click here. Or pin the image to save for […]


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