it’s a family tradition

Today’s your day to share some of your favorite holiday or everyday family traditions. Experts tell us that part of what makes you feel like a family are some of the unique things you do together. In this day where we are so rushed and traditional family time is rare, I would love to hear what you do to make an ordinary day a little extraordinary. What brings back warm memories in your childhood? Was there something your family did to celebrate a holiday or something you do to make any day a little special? Tell me two or three (or more) things unique you did or something you started in your family as a parent, or maybe something you plan to do soon.

One unique thing we still do on vacation is a game like “hot potato” where we pass around secretly a sugar packet to the next person. This all started when Grandma thought one of those long, skinny sugar packets was so cute, she handed it off to my son. He didn’t want to be rude so he just sat there holding it. When he got tired of holding it, he secretly slipped it into the pocket of his sister’s coat. And thus, the sugar packet game was born. Since no one wanted it, they quickly passed it off to the next person without their knowledge. It ended up traveling around the world and back! To this day, if we don’t have the original, we start a new game, and so it goes.

Another thing we always did was take a picture of the kids holding their school supplies by our front door on the first day of school. No kidding, my kids were in college before we quit this tradition. That particular day, my son said, “Come on, Mom. I’m in college. Do I have to do this?” They often mumbled about it, but I think something secretly inside made them kind of like all those pictures side by side of their launching a new school year. And speaking of school, we always celebrated report card day. Never one to give money for grades, we just celebrated—sometimes a job well done and sometimes a clean slate to start fresh. Either way, it was a milestone to commemorate.

What got this whole meme started was Angie (By Faith. . .) said she liked our tradition of sundaes on Sunday and wanted me to share some other family traditions. I couldn’t think of very many and I knew you would have some that would be fun to read. Will you please share them with us? Put your post up on your blog. Everyone is welcome to participate, and please tag your sisters to share their ideas. Sign up below on Mr. Linkie. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your story in comments. Then go to visit others who are sharing their own family traditions. It will be interesting to see what types of things are important to make lasting impressions and each day a little special. I can’t wait to hear your family’s traditions!


7 thoughts on “it’s a family tradition

  1. Traditions – this has always been so important in my family, David’s family and it is so much fun to watch Kaiti taking those same traditions into her young family. Every Christmas Eve we read the story – Polar Express together, and everyone rings their bells. Now we are adding in the movie on Christmas Day!! We eat the very same breakfast every single Christmas morning – sausage bread, egg strata casserole, ham biscuits, fresh OJ, coffee. No matter whose home we are in – that was Mom Bishop’s menu, and the generations before her, too. Even if all of the Bishops are separated by miles – we all know that on Christmas morning we are preparing and eating the same meal. We always go to the late candlelight service at church, and open one gift before bed. That gift is always from David – Christmas pajamas for all of his girls. He has outdone himself over the past few years – by even buying matching pj’s for my Mom!!
    Thanksgiving is always a time to reflect as we gather together, and before our meal we stand in a circle holding hands and share what we are most greatful for. Thanksgiving for the past 30 years has always brought the huge extended reunion of my mom’s family with a real southern barbecue. The men gather in the barn on Friday evening – cook a pig all night (among other things I am sure) Then on Saturday we all bring in food to to go with the pulled pork and hash!! This has only gotten difficult in the past few years as we watch the older generation of our parents leave us one by one. I am sure that as our family grows with a new baby this year – that new traditions will start, and old ones will continue into another generation!! I could probably go on and on – I love celebrations of any kind – and think that they are very important to each of us!! Was I supposed to put this in another place???

  2. Shonda, my Kelly’s bd is on Dec. 5 and I do the same thing with Christmas decorations….no decorating til after her bd!

    Both my children are grown and now we have grandchildren. I directed Kelly over here to read about the pumpkin carving and she agrees we should try to make that a tradition… least we’re going to do it next year, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise!!!!

    Also, I heard about a book advertised on Family Life Today this morning that tells the story of the pilgrims, the Indians and our first Thanksgiving. I plan to go to their website and order the book and read from it at dinner this year. My son’s family is not usually with us on Thanksgiving but they will be this year, so maybe that will be a new tradition for us… read the story and each give a reason for why we are thankful this year!

    Thanks, Annette, for starting this ball rolling, or was it a pumpkin?!

    Love, Jean
    PS How old will your son be, Shonda? My Kelly will be 26.

  3. Annie,
    I wish I had something. I’ve been pondering and pondering. I’ve even asked my oldest child–nothing. We’d do something for a few years then it just stops–fades away. Our lives have been so spontaneous and nothing too similar from year to year.

    I guess one tradition would be that I never put out any Christmas decorations until after my son’s birthday on Dec. 3. Oh-here’s another one–sugar cookies at Christmas. The boys and I will roll out sugar cookie dough and cut them out, bake them and have fun decorating the cookies together.

    This year, we’re doing something different again–we’re going on a ski vacation.

    About school, I have the first day of school photos while they went to school. But I dont take 1st day of school photos since we started home schooling.

    I have fond memories as a child of going to visit my grandma on Sunday’s after church. I think every Sunday we ate pot roast and mashed potatoes.

  4. Sorry to be back – I forgot two important ones! The first day of school and last day of school we celebrated by having pizza at a “ritzy” joint! Also, on New Year’s Eve, the 4 of us would go for dinner early in the evening and then come home.(We felt it was important to take the kids for dinners at a young age to teach them to behave properly in restaurants.)

  5. We used to go skiing New Year’s Day morn before the slopes got busy.
    We always spent a couple hours at W’s Mom’s Christmas Eve – the boys would use Magic Carpets – the snow would start about 8pm – til then, green!
    Our house always hosts Christmas Eve with a smorg of treats and main thing is roast beef with dip/buns or just eat snacks if you like.
    W&I always put on Christmas dinner – love it.
    W&I and the boys would go skating in the winter on local ponds.
    W&I and the boys always had dinner out on Friday nights to celebrate the weekend.
    Wonderful memories. xx oo

  6. OK, Miss Annette, this post is very timely! Cliff and I went to PA today and took a brand new desserts cookbook with me to look at on the trip. There was a section on ice cream and I thought about your post earlier about your sundaes on Sunday and remembered when we used to do that, also. I decided I would try to ressurect the tradition with some new ice cream/sauce ideas from my cookbook.

    Also, Angie, most of my traditions seem to revolve around food too!

    Let’s see Dutch Letters (almond pastry) for Easter (from my mother in law) and Mamie Eisenhower’s Million Dollar Fudge and Hermit Cake (both from mother in law) for Christmas. My husband thinks neither holiday is complete without those goodies. I used to make Mincemeat Cake for Christmas when my Daddy was alive, but not anymore.

    My favorite tradition now: making sugar cookies with my grandchildren (this year will be year 3) for Christmas, then having hot chocolate and cookie samples when we’re through.

    My kiddies car games (don’t know that they would count as traditions): see who could hold their breath the longest through a tunnel and recite lines from movies and try to guess the movie! They did the latter for hours when we went on our trip out west!

    Christmas morning breakfast at our house with Cliff’s dad and the rest of our family. Have done that ever since we became a family. I always make a new special recipe.

    Love, JeanM

  7. Thank you, friend! I am not sure how to do the Mr. Linky thing! But… I am very excited about this! Maybe I should give it a try! You are the best!!!

    Love you,
    Angie xoxo

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