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Family traditions: 10 ideas to get you started

Traditions… Those little rituals passed down from generation to generation that help shape your family’s unity. They create memories that fill your mind with peace, love, happiness, and security.

But what do you do if your family doesn’t have many traditions? Well, you create them. Somebody has to create all these little rituals, so why not let it be you?

There are so many traditions that you can incorporate into your family. I grew up spending every birthday with my family, decorating eggs at Easter, carving the pumpkin at Halloween and opening stockings on Christmas morning.

Traditions don’t have to be extravagant, intense or require a lot of planning. They can be as simple as reading to your child every night in the same comfy chair, having a movie and pizza night every Friday or discussing things you are grateful for around the dinner table each evening. Traditions are the glue that keeps a family together. We all have very busy lifestyles, and adding a small tradition here or there can make all the difference to your family.

Family tradition ideas to get you started:

1. The birthday hat. Get a hat that is well suited to your family and make this the “official birthday hat.”  The idea is that each person wears it at their birthday dinner, whether that be at home or out in a restaurant. We have a rather large birthday hat in our family – it looks like a cake complete with big felt candles out of the top. It’s ridiculously awesome.

2. Birthday cakes. Create the birthday boy or girl’s favorite type of cake. Is it cheesecake, devil’s food cake, or black forest cake? Or is it not even cake at all? Do they prefer pies, cookies, or cupcakes? Whatever it is, make their favorite treat an annual tradition for their birthday.

3. New job. When someone in your family gets a new job, a promotion, or a raise, create a tradition that they take you out for dinner. It doesn’t have to be a fancy or expensive dinner – you can go for pizza or wraps.

4. Christmas dainty exchange. This is my favorite new tradition in our family. Christmas can be a very stressful time, but baking all those Christmas goodies doesn’t have to add to it.  Include as many or as few people as you want, and choose two to three items each to bake.  Bake enough to share with everyone in your group and agree to a date when you’ll meet up and exchange the goodies you’ve all made. I love this one for a couple of reasons.  You get a huge variety of baked goods, and you don’t have to spend weeks preparing. Who doesn’t want that?

5. New Year’s fondue. This has been a tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. Every New Year’s Eve we have a fondue at Mom and Dad’s. It’s a very fond memory for me, and now my husband and kids are included in it as well. It’s a very slow way to eat a meal, and a great way to spend the evening with family as we ring in the new year.

family in bed
Photo by Sara Atkins

6. Saturday mornings in bed. Choose a morning on the weekend to spend in bed with your family. You don’t need to spend hours laying around, but 15 to 30 minutes is a nice length of time. Try having coffee, tea, or milk with a couple of cookies. Relaxing and taking a few minutes to connect with your family can be a great way to kick off a weekend.

7. Easter egg hunt. A classic in many households around the world. I always looked forward to finding hidden goodies from around the house each year. It was always a lot of fun and the morning would be full of laughter. Even now, my mom and dad still hide Easter treats for us, and it will certainly be something we continue and share with our kids.

8. Potluck. This is a great way for extended family members to showcase their culinary talents.  If you decide to do this monthly or bi-monthly, consider themes – make one night Mexican, and the next time Thai, followed by Italian. Theme nights can introduce you to a whole new world of cooking.  Bring print-outs of the recipe so people can take it home with them.

9. Family Olympics. When the weather is nice, spend the day at the park, at the lake, or at the beach.  Decide on sporting events for whole family  – think bean bag toss, horseshoes, badminton, volleyball, and synchronized swimming. Create teams, or compete individually and have prizes for all participants.

10. Kick off summer with a BBQ. This is a great way to welcome the beautiful summer weather and BBQ season. Set up outside on the grass or on the deck, and have everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, water, hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, and ice cream. Have some games ready for kids like water balloon tosses, shoe scramble, and potato sack races.

Creating a feeling of unity, warmth and closeness with your family is priceless.  There are no rules and there is no “right” way to do this. So take initiative, get creative, make it happen and most importantly have fun!

What is your favorite family tradition? How will you create a new family tradition? Please share your ideas in the comments.

Sherri writes at Serene Journey, a personal development blog where she shares tips, tricks and philosophies that can help us all enjoy life. Serene Journey is about living your life deliberately, purposefully and fully by choosing happiness, and remembering it’s often the little things that mean the most.

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  1. Tabitha (From Single to Married)

    What a great post! My husband and I try to regularly visit areas in the city (Washington DC) where we live. Even though we’re residents, we go check out some new spot at least once or twice a week. It’s fun to act as a tourist and discover something new. We definitely plan on continuing this tradition as our family gets older, no matter where we live!

    Tabitha (From Single to Married)´s last blog post…New Baby!!

  2. The Accidental Housewife

    We are just a new little family but we have a few already:
    Friday night pizza and movies, we buy a frozen pizza and then add a whole heap of extra toppings then eat it in front of the tv;
    Sunday morning pancakes, Mum mixes the batter and Dad cooks; and
    Sunday night roast, but only if we’re home from the beach or park in time to cook!
    I am looking forward to starting more seasonal celebrations as our little girl grows up.

  3. Jennifer Tankersley

    Our family’s favorite tradition is a daily one: afternoon tea! It started out just as a way to connect to my daughter after school and has become an integral part of each day. Even on the weekends, my children sense the 4 o’clock hour and begin asking, “Is the tea ready?” hint: we always add a teaspoon of sugar and a little milk plus a couple of thin, crispy tea cookies to dunk.


    Jennifer Tankersley´s last blog post…List of Exciting Things Happening Here

  4. Lisa

    Hi Sherri! I love your ideas…I agree it’s the “little” things we do as family traditions that mean so much (and keep going because they begin to naturally blend into our lives without much effort!).
    Some of our traditions:
    –Ringing the dinner bell to call everyone to a meal.
    –All holding hands while we say grace
    –Holding an annual “Art Show” and inviting the family to view the past year’s art creations and purchasing them if they’d like (I remind everyone to bring their change purse for the $.10 and $.25 items!) * GREAT alternative to (gulp) having to throw any art creations away or (gulp) having to find a way to store everything
    –Making gingerbread houses around Christmas time
    –Doing a Jesse Tree around Christmas time
    –Passing a loaf of Challah bread around the table as we all break off a piece before starting Easter dinner.
    Just listing even a few of ours makes me smile because they are so important!
    Thanks so much for this post!!

    • Sherri (Serene Journey)

      Hi Lisa!
      I love the annual “Art Show” idea I’ll definitely be doing that. A great way to part with some beloved treasures. 🙂 Thanks!

      Sherri (Serene Journey)´s last blog post…Guest Post At Simple Mom

      • Tania

        Cha totally agree with Lisa! FAm traditions rock. They’ve made my life fun

    • San Diego Terp

      My daughter inspired me with an idea for honoring/dealing with all of the art projects. I was attempting to save all of my kids’ art (along with several 3-D projects) when I realized that there wasn’t enough space to properly store them. I brought them all out of storage and took a digital photo of each one. I’ve grouped them into albums so now each of my kids has their own portfolio.
      The inspiration came the day I was cleaning out the garage and was having a really hard time parting with a fairly large toy that both of my kids enjoyed. My daughter’s solution, “Mom, take a picture of it and then give it to Goodwill so some one else can enjoy it.”


    We have a breakfast tradition – my husband makes pancakes on Sunday. It seems to me that traditions often just “evolve” if you are looking out for them.

    My favorite tradition as I was growing up was eating an orange with my mom as we watched Sesame Street.

    Jamie´s last blog post…Choosing Good Books for Your Children

  6. niki

    Hi I am a regular reader from Australia, but I have never commented before, but I am such a big supporter of “Family Traditions”. My husband & I are always aware that we are responsible in large for the kids “Golden Memories” of childhood. It is such a random thing, little tiny traditions to annual holidays are as equally important. We have quite a few here.
    -We say “Skin Me” and do a long sliding high five whenever one of us “Does Good”.
    – We spend Saturday Mornings in bed, all six of us in our queen bed, chatting, wrestling & laughing till we all get too hungry & need breakfast.
    -My husband takes the kids to the Park every afternoon after work for half an hour or so to kick the ball, no matter how tired he is.
    -Monday night is Spaghetti Bolognaise night . Without fail.
    -We have “Video Eve” every Christmas eve. It includes a BBQ dinner, followed by snuggling in our PJ’s on the couch all watching a “Christmas Movie” all eating our favourite chocolate.
    -We have an Annual Seaside Week long Holiday every January & invite extended family & friends to spent a night with us at the “Beach Hut” an hour up the coast from our house & we always do a huge Jigsaw puzzle together over the long evenings.
    -Birthday dinners are chosen by the birthday person, as is the cake.
    And we all light sparklers outside as the grandparents, aunts etc leave.
    -We have our own little language that sounds weird, but we all know what we are on about-(example “Laa-yoo” means I Love You, son no2’s way of saying it as a bub) & can be said anywhere anytime without being embarrassing for the teens.

    Anyway just a few of ours. Great post.

    • Sherri (Serene Journey)

      Hi niki,
      I’m glad you left a comment here! Saturday mornings in bed is one of my favorites (I have so many). I also love the idea of “Video Eve” that’s great! Christmas Eve also happens to be my husband’s birthday so this would be a great way to spend the evening 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your great ideas!

      Sherri (Serene Journey)´s last blog post…Guest Post At Simple Mom

  7. Ashley, with CWDkids

    I LOVE these ideas! My kids orchestrated a family olympics at my house last night and had a blast. I can’t to try some more on your list.

    Thank you!

  8. Tutti @ Tribal Talk

    Our Sunday late afternoon tradition is to drive to a bike/run friendly location (as much as an hour away sometimes), go on a ride and/or run as a family, and then grab smoothies for the ride home. The kids love it! We get the exercise we need and the kids are worn out and ready for baths and bed by the time we get home. It’s a win/win outing for all:)

    Tutti @ Tribal Talk´s last blog post…rubbin’ is racin’

  9. Chele

    I was brought up that family comes first! So I grew up with lots and lots of traditions. Now that I don’t live close to my family… my husbands family does. We do family get togethers once a month where everyone brings a dish and weather permitting, we play outside with the kids and much more! It’s very important to me that my kids know how important family is. So we just keep adding more traditions. As a matter of fact, we started this past weekend with a trip to a lake for 3 days fishing and just being a family! Awesome post!! Have a blessed week!

  10. Amanda @ Mommy's Idea Book

    Thanks for this post Sherri. You have given me some new ideas to introduce to my family.

    Every Friday night is our family night. We go out to eat, usually something inexpensive, and then spend time afterward at home watching a movie together.

    Amanda @ Mommy’s Idea Book´s last blog post…Kids Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual

  11. Teri Lynne

    My most favorite of our traditions is the “Thanksgiving Stocking.” We started this when we first got married and were giving each other little goodies on Thanksgiving that had a Christmas theme – socks, movies, ties, etc. So, it has now become a BIG event! We generally have about 20 people of all ages at our home for Thanksgiving – mostly friends without family nearby – and everyone gets a stocking. Once the dishes are done and the food is put away, we pass out the stockings and everyone enjoys digging in theirs to find out what treasures they will find. We never spend a lot of money but it is such fun to search for “goodies” to add to the stocking pile. This has become such a big deal that we have friends who used to attend our Thanksgiving event that have moved and now incorporate this idea into their own celebrations.

    What is so funny is that we really never intended it to be such a big deal – as is generally true with many family traditions – we just realized that it didn’t make sense to give each other Christmas themed gifts on Christmas so we did it at Thanksgiving. DD loves her stocking! Her’s always contains a new ornament, Christmas socks, pencils, notecards (for Thank Yous!), a new Christmas movie or book, and such. I have started making an ornament each year for those who attend – just as a memento.

    Another thing we do is have a big “drive in” movie at our house Thanksgiving night. We live in the south and it’s usually not too cold to be outside. DH found an 12′ inflatable movie screen and so we show a Christmas movie in our yard every Thanksgiving night. We light fire pits and set out leftovers in the garage along with hot cocoa and coffee and invite people to bring their lawn chairs and join us outside. We have had up to 100 people come to watch the movie.

    We love “little traditions” like ice cream after the first day of school too. This has been so much fun to read what others do and consider how to make every day life more funand memorable.

    • Sherri (Serene Journey)

      Hi Teri Lynne,
      Wow! Thanksgiving stockings I’ve never heard of this but I love it! Sounds like you have a lot of fun with it. I really like the drive in theater idea as well. When we lived in Australia we used to go to the Botanical gardens some weekends during the summer, they would show movies outside when it was nice. We would bring blankets and pillows and lay out in the fresh air it was great! I think I may have to bring that to our family too. Thanks so much for your great ideas 🙂

      Sherri (Serene Journey)´s last blog post…Guest Post At Simple Mom

    • Wendy

      I’m doing a story for the Chicago Tribune and other U.S. papers about do-it-yourself holidays – little family traditions that perhaps started modestly enough but have become almost sacred annual (or more frequent) causes for celebration. I love some of the ideas I have seen on this site, including family olympics, an annual art show, Thanksgiving stocking and Thanksgiving drive-in night among many others. Would any of you be willing to email me with more details of ones your family has for my story? My name is Wendy and my email is Thank you so much.

      • don bruns

        When the kids were small, we’d take a drive during the Christmas season and pick out houses that were decorated well. Each of us got a pick, and then we presented the owner with a certificate, informing them they had won the presigious Bruns Award for best Christmas decorations.

  12. Sherri (Serene Journey)

    @ Tsh,
    Thank you so much for including my post. I really enjoy being part of the Simple Mom community and am truly honored to be able to contribute!

    @ Everyone,
    I’m so glad you enjoyed this post! Family traditions are close to my heart. I’m really enjoying reading ALL of your additional ideas as well they are amazing!! You’re all giving me some great new ideas as well. It is the little things in life that mean the most. You guys are great keep them coming! 🙂

    Sherri (Serene Journey)´s last blog post…Kick-Off To Summer BBQ

  13. Julie W.

    Thanks for the great post!

    My family does a big family vacation for a week every two years. This started with my grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins. Now many of my cousins are married and have kids, so our vacation continues to get bigger and bigger. A lot of people are shocked that our vacation is for an entire week, but it works well. Gives us time to reconnect…and reminds us why we don’t live closer together. =) One of the traditions of vacation is having one big meal a day all together. Each of the 6 siblings’ families take a night to be in charge of the meal and devotions.

    Within our immediate family, we have some others:
    – Spend Christmas Eve going to church and opening presents
    – Open stockings on Christmas morning
    – Doing “Resurrection Eggs” for Easter to remind us about WHY we celebrate Easter
    – Camping the weekend of my husband’s birthday…and camping a lot anyway
    – My cousin and I started a “Christmas Baking” event. We get together the weekend of Thanksgiving, along with any of our other relatives who can make it, and we bake a TON of treats. Then we split it. Works great because you get a variety of treats without too many of any single thing. One year we baked at church instead of someone’s home. That worked well because we had 3 ovens and lots of counter space. Grandma was the designated dishwasher. I love her!

    Julie W.´s last blog post…A Refreshing Change

  14. Mindy

    We’re still establishing our family traditions. We have two young children, ages 2 and 4 months, but we’ve been adding traditions yearly. Here’s what we do have:
    1) Sunday morning blueberry pancakes
    2) in the fall, a visit to a local farm with a pumpkin patch and hay rides
    3) a yearly trip to my husband’s family’s farm in New York
    4) a day at A Wool Gathering at Young’s Jersey Dairy in Ohio, complete with ice cream at the end of the day
    5) a college football game (or three)
    6) the Buddy Walk for the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati (our son has Down syndrome, I walked last year when I was 7 months pregnant!)

    Mindy´s last blog post…Super Simple Saturday Supper

  15. Writer Dad

    One of my favorite traditions, that we engage in on an everyday basis, is sharing the best and worst parts of our day. All four of us do it, taking turns around the dinner table. Even our four year old refuses to be excluded. It is a wonderful time to connect and get to know your child a little bit better. It is amazing to sit back and listen to what is important to them.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post…Meme Oh My-O

    • Sherri (Serene Journey)

      Hi Sean!
      I love the idea of discussing the best and worst part of each day. Our little ones are a bit young at the moment (21 months and 6 months) but when they’re older this is definitely something we will be doing. I’m always amazed at what kids come up with and like you say what’s important to them. Thanks for the idea!

      Sherri (Serene Journey)´s last blog post…Guest Post At Simple Mom

  16. blissed

    On New Year’s Day, we do something new — new food, a new place, a new game.

  17. Lisa

    Great ideas! I am always looking for new things to do with my children. I know some great families that have alot of traditions that the whole family loves. I want that for mine. Thanks for blogging on this important topic!

  18. Christy at Family at Work

    I loved the post, loved the ideas, loved the comments!! (Especially Thanksgiving Stockings – BRILLIANT, Terri Lyn!)

    I live very far from my only siblings, 2 beloved sisters, and also my mom. A few years ago my sister pointed out that St. Nick was filling everyone’s stockings each year, but she was never surprised on Christmas morning 😉 Now, we do a Christmas stocking exchange so that we (the moms) get to be surprised. We have a spending limit (10-20$ each stocking) and everything must be individually wrapped (so we can be surprised when we unwrap them on Christmas morning, since we will put them in the stocking when St. Nick stuffs the other one.) This year we also did a sisters only Easter Basket exchange the same way. I love getting little things only my sisters would think of on those special holidays. I enjoy a special moment just to think of those I love who are absent on these important days.

    • Teri Lynne

      Thanks, Christy! Like I said it was a happenstance sort of thing … but it has been such fun!! And now I’m excited to see it spreading beyond our home and friends!!!

  19. Prairie Chick

    mmm… love traditions. We have lots of them. An after dinner walk along the riverbank after our Thansgiving meal. Racing rubber ducks and little boats in the creek on the first day of Spring run-off (when all the snow melts down into the river and creeks). A May Day spring treasure hunt with baskets full of spring the first weekend that the trees start leafing out (which happened to be THIS weekend!!). Roasted leg of lamb and an “empty place” at the table set for the king at Passover, toasting from wine glasses as a commemoration. Celebrating Advent. Oh… so many!!!!

    • Sherri (Serene Journey)

      Hi Prairie Chick,
      We used to race boats we made out of milk cartons down the ditches and through the culverts, I totally forgot about that!! Is this a prairie thing I wonder? 😉 Thanks for bringing back a very fond memory for me 🙂

      Sherri (Serene Journey)´s last blog post…Guest Post At Simple Mom

  20. Prairie Chick

    mmm… love traditions. We have lots of them. An after dinner walk along the riverbank after our Thansgiving meal. Racing rubber ducks and little boats in the creek on the first day of Spring run-off (when all the snow melts down into the river and creeks). A May Day spring treasure hunt with baskets full of spring the first weekend that the trees start leafing out (which happened to be THIS weekend!!). Roasted leg of lamb and an “empty place” at the table set for the king at Passover, toasting from wine glasses as a commemoration. Celebrating Advent. Oh… so many!!!!

  21. Jessica

    These are great ideas! What a way to bring families together =).

    I, personally, also enjoy the idea of cooking breakfasts together with the kids for occasions like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day…or any day, for that matter!

  22. Monica

    One of my family’s favorite traditions is each Christmas Eve we all bring something small that represents what was important to us that year – it can be anything – and then we all add our little trinkets to that years’ shadow box. My parents’ walls have all of the shadow boxes from past years and it’s so much fun to look at them and remember how blessed we are!

  23. Jay Schryer

    These are all wonderful ideas! We don’t have many traditions in our family, and haven’t had many for a couple of generations now. My grandparents (both sets) were very non-conformist and non-traditional, and so they didn’t pass along many of the things that they did while growing up. My parents were much the same way.

    So, I love posts like this…which give me some good ideas for things to pass on to my daughter, and to my grandkids should I have them someday. Thank you!

    • Sherri (Serene Journey)

      Hi Jay,
      I’m glad you liked these! It’s never too late to start a tradition, in my opinion. I love that even though you didn’t grow up with many family traditions you want to establish some to pass onto your daughter and grandkids. That’s truly wonderful! 🙂

      Sherri (Serene Journey)´s last blog post…Guest Post At Simple Mom

  24. Rana

    We have a couple of traditions that we do. Every thursday night is family bible study. My husband and I encourage our kids to ask questions about God and their faith in the bible. Friday night is pizza and a movie. We also get together once a month at one of our extended familes home for family dinner. Everyone in the family gets a turn at their home. We also rent a beach house once a year in Mytle Beach with my sister and her husband and enjoy a week of relaxing at the beach. I started a new tradition about 3 years ago with my teenage cousin who lives in D.C. Every summer she stays with us for a couple of weeks and we take her around to the different museums and concerts in our area. Last year she came with us to Myrtle Beach. The best part is how she loves to spend time with her little 6 year old cousins.

  25. Angie @ The Creative Mama

    What a great reminder Sherri, we incorporate quite a few of the things you mentioned but some I hadn’t thought of! I’m going to bring up some of your new ideas to the husband. Creating traditions is so important and I think brings such security to the kids.

    Happy Monday!

    Angie @ The Creative Mama´s last blog post…The beauty of quiet.

  26. Rona

    To celebrate the end of the school year we’ve always taken our son out for dinner. This year he actually came to me and said “Mom, I’ve got two restaurants in mind.”
    I love creating family traditions.

    Rona´s last blog post…Menu Plan Monday – May 18, 2009

  27. Positively Present

    Wonderful list! Sherri, thanks so much for posting over here on Simple Mom. I’m just coming to the site for the first time and it’s great. It’s always wonderful to learn about new sites through (great!) guest posts. 🙂

  28. Unsinkable Kristen

    Our family has Donut Day every Saturday. Usually, we load up the kids and head to the donut store and we all get whatever we want and we sit and eat and chat. While my husband was unemployed, though, we got a bag of chocolate covered donuts from the Bakery outlet (for about $1.50) and ate them in the back of the pickup truck at the park. In rain or shine, we always do Donut Day 🙂

  29. lorchick

    We have a busy family, but Sunday is the Lord’s Day as thusly is the perfect day for a day of rest. Especially because we don’t have to leave for church until 9:30. Sunday mornings tend to involve DD chilling and giggling in bed with us, followed by pancakes. Soup is always for lunch on Sundays. DD naps during most of the between-church-services time, so DH and I will watch a movie, eat soup, and chill. Then after second service DD and DH play while I clean up a bit, then we have supper and just hang out until DD’s bedtime. Ahhh, a perfect day!

  30. prasti

    i love the idea of establishing some family “traditions.” one that we’ve done (which has been passed down from when my husband was little) is letting the birthday child (or birthday mom or dad) pick whatever they want for their birthday dinner. it doesn’t matter what it is. we make it happen (within reason 🙂 ). we also do a family bible study every wednesday night. sometimes, things get hectic and it doesn’t always happen, but we try to keep this a weekly occurrence.

    prasti´s last blog post…the final exam

  31. Rachel Porter

    It’s a very simple tradition…but we’ve started to have lasagna every Christmas Eve. It’s not the ‘typical Christmas food.’ When I tell, others this they ask, “Why Lasagna?” And I respond with, “it’s a tradition my mom started and we want our family to continue it.” Like I said, nothing flashy…but I look forward to some great lasagna come Christmas time.

    Rachel Porter´s last blog post…Money Management 101:Talking with Your Spouse About Money

  32. Bethany @ CampBlueStreak

    It’s so great to get ideas for family traditions. Here are a few of mine:

    – Thankfuls – Holding hands around the dinner table and saying what we are thankful for (superheroes is a common one in my house).
    -Bringing mommy breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day (one of my favorites)
    -Butter on the Nose – My mom would always grease our nose on our birthday morning, so we could slide into the next year. (Does anyone else have this crazy tradition? I think it’s Irish. We kids didn’t enjoy it much.)

    Bethany @ CampBlueStreak´s last blog post…Do You Recognize the Early Warning Signs of the Blue Screen of Death?

    • Jwendy

      My husband and I do “thankfuls” for dinner, and “hopefuls” for breakfast. Whichever meal it is we take hands whoever is eating that meal with us and say what we are hopeful for (if its breakfast) and whatever we are thankful for (if it is dinner)

  33. kirwin

    When I was a kid, my favorite tradition happened every Sunday morning. Every Sunday morning, the kids would wake up and go snuggle in my parent’s bed. My mom would get up and bring tea for the whole family. I will always remember that it’s how we found out my youngest brother was due!

  34. Tia

    My sons and I wait for the warmer weather to settle in, so we can wash down the front porch and add potted flowers and citronella candles. After that, each late Spring and every Summer evening we sit on the porch, after the day winds down and our baths are complete. Sitting in the warm darkness we rehash the summer adventures for that day and plan the next day. Then one by one we give way to a good night’s sleep.

    This all started with my grand parents, who did not have air conditioning, so after baths, my grandmother and I would sit on the porch. She would rock in her rocking chair, and I would rock on the glider pleasantly prolonging the night’s sleep on a hot Virginia night.

    Tia´s last blog post…Rain, rain come and stay

  35. Whitney

    I love these ideas. Thanks for the post!

    • narz

      i lovee your cameraa. which one is it? 😛

  36. Shannon J

    These are great ideas. I love hearing about families having fun together. Some things we do that haven’t been mentioned: I have 4 children and only one daughter so for her birthday I take her away for a weekend at a B&B. We have a Halloween fairy visit . My kids leave outside in a bag all the candy they want to give away on Halloween night and the fairy leaves in its place small gifts. The candy is supposedly given to children who couldn’t trick or treat that year (like kids in the hospital). We have a Day of the Dead party the weekend before Halloween and decorate sugar skulls that I make. We often have a last-day-of-school party/bash. We have an out-loud family story time that is geared towards the older kids (age 12 and almost 9 – whohoo! time to go to that B&B again!) but the little ones (both 3yo) are around for it too. We have had special weekends with my oldest son camping, mountain biking and/or canoeing down a river but we haven’t done that since the little ones got home. I really love one-on-one time with my kidos. We take really fun family vacations because I figure it is now or never – my oldest is 12 and so we only have a handful of vacations before he is out on his own. Like someone else said – we’re making their childhood memories NOW so take advantage of every opportunity. They grow up too quickly and you can’t get this time back. Oh, we also do family trash walks, cleaning up the creeks/woods/parks. And family bike rides. And walks to the pond at bedtime with flashlights to see the frogs and tadpoles… Such fun.

    • Sherri (Serene Journey)

      Hi Shannon,
      Fantastic! I love Halloween so you’ve given me a lot of neat ideas! I think it’s great that you spend so much one-on-one time with your kids and that B&B with your daughter what a wonderful idea. Trash walks and tadpole/frog spotting are now on my list. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

      Sherri (Serene Journey)´s last blog post…Kick-Off To Summer BBQ

  37. Shelley Swindler

    We love traditions in our family. We are still trying to incorporate them into our family as we have had a lot of craziness over the last two years (moves, deaths, loss of jobs, health, etc…) But we take every opportunity to build them into our family.
    One of our favorites is ordering Chinese Take out for Christmas Eve. We started that the Christmas before we left for China to adopt our oldest daughter. We had no idea that the next Christmas we would actually be IN China for Christmas Eve eating REAL Chinese food …and then again two years later we did it all again for Christmas when we adopted our youngest daughter. You haven’t lived until you have eaten Fried Rice and Prawn soup (with the WHOLE shrimp looking back at us) for Christmas dinner !!
    Anyway- Chinese for Christmas Eve is probably my most favorite tradition!!

  38. Sarah Hawley

    I love this post, especially Saturday morning in bed. Reminds me of growing up and climbing in bed with both parents to watch TV and chat (did it til I was 21! ha!). We have Family Sleep Night every Friday with our (almost) four year old. Truth is that we love it just as much as she does and are trying to figure out when to bring our one year old into the mix. Thanks for some great ideas!

  39. trainingupchildren

    Now that my little girl is learning her ABCs, we play the Alphabet Game on the long drive to church each Sunday. The rules are simple. Everyone begins by trying to find an “A” on a road sign somewhere and then goes to the next letter. The first one to get to Z wins. Since we go to church almost an hour away, it helps to pass the time. It also works great for other long drives.

  40. Laurie

    I love all those!

    One tradition I have is to wake up the birthday child with a birthday cake. I admit that I stole it from the YaYa Sisterhood 😉

    Its getting harder to keep some of the little things we used to do alive, like Pizza and Movies on Fridays….sports, studies, extra cirriculars are getting in the way!

    I’m planning a big summer kick off BBQ right now 🙂

  41. Jill

    We have many traditions we’ve started with the kids but one of my favorites is at Christmas. We get all of our friends together. I’ve made TONS of gingerbread house molds ahead of time. The ladies all go shopping for a family we are adopting and the guys all go buy gingerbread house decorations. We meet back at the house for pizza, wrapping and gingerbread house decorating. It’s so much fun!

  42. hairstyles for girls

    What a great post! We have a fun tradition in our family where when someone has a birthday or special occasion, they get the special red plate. A little weird, but everyone loves that red plate!

  43. Talia

    My husband and I have been thinking about this lately! We’ve just started celebrating Passover, which will be a tradition in our family. Some others include have a snuggle in bed on one’s birthday morning, and unwrapping presents in bed, as well as having a bit of a party with friends. I know when we have kids I want to have a party for each of them every year- this is one of my favourite childhood memories!

    Talia´s last blog post…The Bag Bag….

    • amjed hasoon

      it is good thing to enhanced your relation with your husband, good family product good kids.
      but not the party is every thing in the world you have to learned them some of brave, patience, honest, and integrity.
      let these adjective your traditions because any mom like to be proud of her kids.

  44. Melani

    We have not done it in awhile, but my family likes to have music appreciation nights where each person gets to pick one song from a cd that they like to play for the whole family to listen to. We would then talk about what we likes about it and it usually ended up in everyone dancing. I plan one carrying on this tradition with my own kids once they are old enough.

  45. Melitsa

    For birthdays the boys buy each other books- usually that they want. lol.With 3 boys close in age they share everything and sometimes the last two can feel that they don’t get anything bought specially for them. I think the two oldest can point out which books their brother bought for them. They cherish them.

  46. LaDonna

    we just started Friday night is Pizza Night. We all go down to the kitchen together and make the pizzas. It’s been twice now and we are loving it. And the great thing is that it was my dh’s idea. He doesn’t usually suggest such traditional things! it’s great!

    LaDonna´s last blog post…And If Not; A Link

  47. Emma @

    I never gave traditions much thought before my son Eric was born. But then we started some new traditions, that I never had as a child and it is so much fun! We have a weekend tradition of gardening, everybody gets their task and Eric loves digging holes to plant seedlings. We have a summer tradition of eating a watermelon after a swim in the bay. I posted some time ago about traditions and why we need them . Thank you for this beautiful post, it gave me ideas for some new traditions!

    Emma @´s last blog post…Before And After the Baby

  48. Melanie

    I grew up with 2 sisters in my household back on the island of st helena, our family tradition was always having a cooked breakfast on sunday mornings and every evening sat at the table for dinner. You dont realise how special these little things are until you move away from them, i now live in the UK and have a little girl of my own we have started our own family traditions, but whenever I do have a cooked breakfast on a sunday morning it brings back the feeling of home.

  49. Onna@toddlercraft

    I love your ideas! They are great!! Traditions are so important for kids. It let’s them know what to expect. In our family we have some old and new traditions. We have family take out night at my inlaws on friday. I created a chanukah count down calendar for our kids that counts down the 16 days before chanukah. I have different activities or little presents for each day of the week leading up to chanukah. We go over to my inlaws for christmas and they have breakfast and we open presents there with them. We get munchkins after preschool 2 days a week-3 each. We read 3 stories each night-I can not deviate from this or my kids revolt!! I love our traditions and we make more as we all grow.

    Onna@toddlercraft´s last blog post…Crab Artwork

  50. Erin Hill

    I love some of your ideas. I wrote about family traditions as well in one of my blog posts. Jennie Garth has a special “blue plate”, and whenever someone in the family does something worth noting, they get to eat dinner on the special blue plate: The blue plate special.

  51. cresta

    Every summer and winter our family goes to Florida. While we are on vacation and I don’t have any other distractions, I take each of my kids on a one-on-one date with me (ice-cream and dollar tree) and my husband does the same. (he takes each child to Starbucks bright and early for hot chocolate before anyone else wakes up) Our kids LOVE it and look forward to it each time we go on vacation!

  52. Mae

    Our favorite tradition is that the day after Thanksgiving, each of our 3 kids chooses a new Christmas song to learn to play on the piano. Until Christmas eve, our piano teacher and I help them practice that particular song and only that song. Then on Christmas eve we have a “Family Recital” and invite some relitives that live nearby over to listen. Afterwords we pull out previous years songs and see what they remember!

  53. how to enlarge

    Great, great stuff, thanks! You made the front page at delicious — well deserved. I’m saving this piece to reread down the road. Keep up the wonderful work!

  54. Cherise

    I love all the ideas on this page. One thing that my family does evey Christmas is a home made Christmas Movie. We try to take all the good and bad memories of the year and reenact them in a funny light hearted way. Everyone one in the family is involved from Grandman and Grandpa to the youngest member. We watch the movie right before we open our gifts. It’s the best way to start the night out.

  55. Susan

    So fun to read everyone’s family favorite traditions. Our family is raised and out of the house, but some of our family Christmas traditions which have been passed on include; having a basket of children’s Christmas books which only comes out after Thanksgiving – reading at least one story each evening, letting each child pick and purchase an ornament which represents something they did or someplace they visited that year – we call it our memory tree which they keep in their own special box and put on the tree each year (those are taken with them when they marry to start their own memory tree), our famous family “hot punch” on Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve breakfast at our favorite restaurant, and so many more…..

  56. Deborah Iverson

    I love family traditions. Especially since my mother has passed away. I just wrote about the traditional family Easter Egg Hunt on my blog. Great memories. Hope everyone can get those family traditions a try.

  57. Abby Sykes

    I don’t normally comment, but I have several traditions I grew up with that I’m trying to share with my kids now.
    1. I give each person in the family a new ornament for the tree at Christmas, pertanent to their activities/likes/etc. That way each year as we decorate the tree it’s full of memories!
    2. We decorate the tree together, as a family & share stories, christmas music, and love looking at the old ornaments and remembering what they were for/from.
    3. We always do fondue (a meat sauce one & then a chocolate one for dessert) every New Year’s Eve. It’s fun & “special.”
    4. We always make sure at least once a year we pick a cause to support through donations and time (wether it be a walk, serving food at a shelter, or etc.)

  58. Amber

    Hi i have a mid size family i have 6 boys but only 4 live with me and my fiance .
    He came into with 3 boys of his ownolder kids 13,11,10 i have 3 boys of my own 7,4,2
    Its kind of hard with family tradtions i want to make my family be peacfully and loving my boyfriend and i have really bad family our parents all are gruchy we dont have any ideas how to make our family Better any ideaswill help out geat please any:)

  59. Brad Aronson

    Great post.

    We are huge fans of family traditions. We have one that started small and evolved over the years into our own holiday that our kids as well as the adults in our family love. The best part of creating your own holiday is that no one has scheduling conflicts so the entire family can attend.

    Our holiday started with an annual dinner with a special dessert. Over the years it evolved into an extravaganza where 20 family members come over dressed completely in orange, everyone brings a gag gift to exchange, we only use orange toilet paper and we have about 50 monkeys wearing orange around the house. It’s gotten a bit outrageous but that adds to the fun.
    If you want a few laughs and you’re interested in the full details about the holiday and how it evolved, it’s here:
    Bottom line: consider creating your own family holiday. We love ours!

  60. John

    I really enjoyed this post and it true that family traditions are really important.. cheers

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