Pass the Button
Pass the Button is a very sweet family tradition that dates back to pre-Victorian times. The rules are very simple and can be adjusted to fit your individual family. The basic principle is to find the largest button you can. Then sew it onto something small, soft and portable.
Since Mother will probably be the one to start off this little tradition, you decide which person in the family you want to bless with a special deed, a chore that is done secretly for them, a special gift left for them on their pillow, etc. Once you have blessed someone you place the button under their pillow so they can, in turn, bless someone else!
A Few Suggestions for Making an Item to put "The Button" on:
* Use a special fabric to make a beanbag, then sew the button onto the bag. The fabric may come from someone special in the family like a grandparent, or it might be taken from leftover baby clothes that each child has worn, or possibly from an item that the children have seen in your home since birth. You can also find specialty fabric that reflects something special about your family. When your beanbag wears out, simply take off the button(s) and place a new beanbag to carry on the tradition!
* An old sock stuffed with beans or rice and tied closed can do in a pinch to get you started. When it wears out simply replace it. You can take off the old buttons and reuse them, or start with fresh buttons.
* You can make a rag doll and place the button on the front, or a small teddy bear can be used. Additional buttons can be used as eyes and a mouth, or to completely cover your beanbag, doll or teddy bear.
* DMC (which is best known for its embroidery thread) has a sweet teddy bear available that would work well for Pass the Button. It comes in pink gingham, blue gingham and white as well as other colors. There is a little bib on the bear that can be cross stitched (maybe with "PTB" for Pass the Button). These are very soft and cost less than $9.00. If you don't sew, this is another very good option if you are looking for something cuddly. These little bears with their original buttons could very quickly become a family heirloom! If you have many children, consider using a new bear each year and saving the old ones that are "retired" to place inside a child's hope chest... When your child has their own children someday, this will be a special treasure to share!
* Instead of just one large button (or along with the large button) you can use several smaller buttons or decorative buttons. You can even cover the entire item with buttons if you like. Large bags of buttons that weigh 2 - 4 lbs can often be found in craft stores. There is also a new trend for collectible buttons that are in all shapes, sizes and themes. These are definitely NOT for use on clothing, but would be very cute if they were used to embellish your "Pass the Button" item with.
* Maybe you would like to start with a blank beanbag, doll or teddy bear and as each person has a turn they can sew a button on! If you have a large tub or baggie tucked away that is filled with buttons and a needle and thread, it would be a simple thing for each person to add a button. When that item is filled up it can be "retired" and another started. Years from now your children will remember which buttons they had sewn on and with many "retired" beanbags, dolls or teddy bears there is sure to be enough to pass along to grandchildren when they start arriving.
A Few Ideas for Playing "Pass the Button"...
* When the button is passed to another person, you can suggest that a Bible verse is left with the button as well. Something that is reminiscent of the person who is receiving the button. With a good concordance, this can turn into a wonderful "get to know the Bible time" for each person in your family.
* For older children, you may wish to increase the "good deed" to two or three before passing along the button. For little ones, they may need help from a parent or possibly have an older sibling hooked-up with them to help. Having teams of a younger and older child working together to bless another sibling team can help build close relationships.
* If it is a parent's turn to bless someone, consider opting to take the whole brood out for an ice cream or other special treat. Explain that it is your turn with Pass the Button and you are treating everyone!
* Consider having each person who has the "Button" bless someone in the family as well as someone at church, an elderly neighbor, an extended family member, etc.
* Once a year (or more often if you wish) have each person with the "Button" create a poem, short story, or write an personal incident about the person they are blessing. These can be put it into a special notebook. When each person has something written about them, hold a special family night celebration and read everything aloud. Don't forget to keep all the pages and perhaps put into a unique scrapbook to keep as an ongoing family heirloom. If you plan to have your special family night in late January or early February, it might help lift everyone's spirits from the cold winter blues...
If you have any suggestions that we can add to this page, please be sure to contact us. If you have any comments on "Pass the Button" and how your family has enjoyed playing, please let us know. We enjoy hearing from you!