Thank you to Log Cabin for sponsoring my post about updated traditions in my household. To learn more about Log Cabin Syrups (which are all free of High Fructose Corn Syrup), breakfast for dinner, and other new ways to update traditions in your home, click here. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
When I was growing up, my family’s holidays (including birthdays) were full of traditions. From waiting for the birthday card to come from Grandma and Grandpa (with cash inside) to opening up new pajamas on Christmas Eve, we had many wonderful things to look forward to all year long.
I’ve had to adapt many of my childhood traditions to my own family, as well as create some of my own. Since we live so far away from our extended family, our holiday meals and celebrations are quite different occasions than I remember from when I was a kid. Although our house is not quite so full, and the table does not hold quite as many dishes, everything that I serve at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (what I call the “Big Meal” holidays) are those same dishes that my Mom and Grandma served to their families.
I was shocked this last year, while sitting in on a discussion at church, when my own daughters looked at me for help when they were asked about our traditions. They didn’t think we had any traditions. I was shocked. When do the things we do regularly transition from an ordinary event to a family tradition, and how often do they need to be updated?
In an effort to help my kids recognize our traditions (so they can no longer say we have none!) here are a few of the traditions that we practice. We have either continued and adapted them from when I was a kid or made traditions of our own.
- On the first day of school every year, I take pictures of each of the kids with their backpack on outside the front door.
- Not only do Grandma and Grandpa (and Nana and Grandpap too) send birthday money with a card, but each child gets a little extra cash so that I can take them out for a birthday lunch date.
- On Easter morning, the Easter Bunny hides each of the kids’ Easter Baskets throughout the house. Once everyone is awake and Mom gives the kids the go-ahead, they tear the house apart to find their specific basket. The older they get, the harder the hiding place (the biggest challenge with this is that my kids seem to be out growing the space we’ve got in our house).
- During Spring Break, we always to go a local DC park with a bunch of our friends to watch the airplanes land at Reagan National Airport. We also dye hard boiled eggs and make frosted Springy sugar cookies together.
- Before any of the kids can open any presents on Christmas morning, they have to all line up in front of the Christmas tree together to take a picture.
- We sort all of the Halloween candy after trick or treating. The kids get to keep a bag of their own and the rest is put into a “family bowl.” In other words, the kids get a few candies to keep and the rest they give to me.
- After praying together, we do a 10 second “Family Cheer.”
- The kids pull out the old home movies every 6 months and watch them ALL.
- When Grandma or Nana visits, we always go out to eat at Red Robin.
- We eat breakfast for dinner as often as possible, and there is ALWAYS syrup and bacon involved.
So many of the traditions that were around when we were first married or when our children were tiny are no longer necessary or feasible. It’s incredible (and often sad) when I realize that we’ve grown out of a tradition. But our family, like others, is constantly growing and adapting. And that’s one of the things that keeps family alive and interesting.
What are some of your traditions, and how have they adapted to your family over the years?
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