I never knew how powerful a family mascot is until our family developed one unknowingly.
It all started over 10 years ago when my parents decorated a sibling’s front lawn with pink flamingos for April Fool’s Day. A short time later, those same flamingos made their way to another family member’s yard. And before we knew it, “flamingoed” became a new verb in our extended-family dictionary whenever we would “flamingo the yard” with our now-traveling flamboyance of pink lawn decor. That decor, by the way, now includes not only the classic plastic flamingos but also inflatable flamingos (one over 4 feet tall!) and door covers. And if you need a flamingo that dances to its own music, we have one of those, too. ;)
Over time, flamingos have become our extended-family symbol (especially among the women). “Flamingo” is the equivalent of the word “love” in our family. So you can imagine our excitement when the flamingo emoji was created and we could seemingly say, “Boy, am I grateful for this incredible family” in a group text with a single icon!
Not only can we use the flamingo emoji to capture a feeling of love and gratitude when we share it with each other, but whenever I’m in the store and see flamingo decor or shirts or blankets, I’m immediately filled with love for my family.
Whenever I see a flamingo decor item in my home, I know it represents the great love my family has for me and it brings immediate joy. (And I can’t get over how great this flamingo game is that my family decorated with self-portraits as a gift for a major milestone for me; is it not the absolute best?!)
If I need extra courage or strength, a simple flamingo image sent from a family member can lift my spirits because I know that my family is cheering me on.
And when the weather turned cold this week and it was time to break out a sweatshirt, the first one I grabbed was a flamingo sweatshirt I bought a couple years ago because of my family pride and the gratitude I feel for each of them.
So if your family doesn’t have a mascot yet, consider creating one—either intentionally in a family council or organically by starting to create a motif in decor, gifts, texted gifs, and even sweaters! I love that wherever I go, when I see our family mascot it immediately creates a sense of home, of family, and of love, even if my family isn’t close by.
Hopefully a family mascot can create an equal sense of love, gratitude, and closeness for your family members as well!
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