Pick #19: When you think about your years growing up, isn’t it great to reminiscence all the great family traditions you enjoyed? Even if there were just a few traditions your family followed…as a child it made life exciting and fun! Now that I am grown and have children of my own, I love watching my children get excited when they experience fun family traditions. I also would love to incorporate more traditions and am always up for suggestions. So with that, here are my FAVORITE PIXX when it comes to family traditions:
#1-Birthday Door Decorating! My husband and I started decorating our children’s doorway the night before their birthday (while the kids are fast asleep) so that they wake up to balloons and streamers hanging down from their door when they wake up. This is always exciting and fun for the family to look forward to besides the normal cake and party portion of the birthday. It’s cheap and easy to decorate a door and it’s just a reminder that this day is “special” for that family member.
(Picture from viralins.com)
#2-Sunday Dinners: At least one Sunday a month we eat dinner with extended family or friends. When we host dinner at our house we set out the “nice plates” and chargers and just enjoy the dinner look. Having a sit down dinner with family and friends is always memorable and enjoyable for everyone. I highly encourage starting this. Oh–and put your phones away at the table, that’s a great way to keep away unnecessary distractions;)
#3-Friday Family Movie Nights: Our kids love this night. My three-year-old asks about every night if it’s family movie night. We usually plop on our couch, pop popcorn, and choose a kid-friendly show on Netflix to snuggle up and enjoy together. Cheap and easy, but something to look forward to. Even better, it’s a great way for us adults to relax!
#4- Valentine’s Day Surprises: Growing up my parents always left some sort of surprise for Valentines Day. Nothing too big, but just a little something. Some gifts I remember receiving was a treat, flowers, a small toy etc. I do the same with my kids by giving them a small gift that they will find when they wake up for the day. I also make sure to remind them a lot through the day that I love them (as we should everyday right?!) Valentines Day is a perfect holiday to show your family and loved ones how much you care.
#5- Dry Erase Marker notes on the Mirror: My hubby and I started leaving cute notes to each other on the mirror a few years back and it’s SOOO fun! I don’t know about you, but for us, we had two kids really quick and unfortunately it’s easy to put our relationship as a couple on the back burner. When we started writing each other cute notes on the mirror, it just added that extra spark that marriage always needs. Dry erase markers are great on the mirror because they erase and clean up easily. As our kids get older and can read, I know we would like to leave them sweet notes as well:)
#6-Springtime baby animals: I grew up in the country and my dad was a cattle rancher. In the springtime, all the new baby animals were born and it was so fun to go see all these adorable creatures. My husband and I try every year to make it down to the country to take our kids to go see the new baby cows, sheep, goats etc. If you aren’t able to travel anywhere, it’s a great time to go visit the zoo or any small farms within the area.
#7-Easter Egg Hunt: Not only do our kids do an Easter Egg Hunt outside at grandma’s house, but we also do a small Easter Egg hunt throughout our house on Easter morning. If you are trying to not do so much candy you can purchase dollar store toys as an option as well. We have also done a religious based hunt in which the kids look for plastic eggs and open it up to find a scripture- and read the story of Christ’s resurrection. Either way, it’s entertaining for parents and adults to watch the excitement fill children eyes as they hunt for treasures.
#8-Memorial Day Celebration: Every year my hometown has a festival on the weekend of Memorial Day and my entire family attends. This celebration is called the “Scandinavian Festival” and it’s a fun time to get together as a family, eat good food, hear great music, and shop at the booths. On Memorial Day Monday, we always make sure to visit our grandparents graves and take flowers to put on them. I love how beautiful the cemetery looks on Memorial Day. This holiday is a wonderful day to celebrate our loved ones who have passed on, and to tell our children about family members that they never were able to meet.
#9-Fourth of July Water fight– My husbands family does the typical picnic and firecrackers on the 4th of July which is always fun. But–a tradition we started a few years back was a big 4th of July water fight—adults and everyone are involved. There are big and small water guns so kids and adults can enjoy squirting each other and having fun. It’s something we laugh about every year and it brings out the entertaining side of family and loved ones.
#10-Summer Rodeo-Every summer we attend a rodeo. If you haven’t been to a rodeo you should! It’s highly entertaining, and if you have little ones- they enjoy seeing the animals. The clowns put on a good act, there’s usually entertainment of some sort, and of course–watching the cowboys ride bulls and broncos is thrilling! I love attending rodeos and I look forward to our traditional rodeo outing every year.
#11-Family Campout/vacation: Every year our family plans a camp out in the summer. We start figuring out the camping details in January so that everyone involved makes sure to get work off. Also by planning early you are better organized to rent a campground area if needed. Our family goes with my husbands entire family (siblings, grandkids, parents) and it’s a lot of fun. We usually spend anywhere from 3-7 days camping, so it takes a lot of planning but if you work on the details early on, it makes it much easier. If camping isn’t your thing, save up for a vacation! The memories made on family vacations and outings are worth every penny!
#12-Halloween Soup Bar– Besides trick-or-treating, our family enjoys having a soup bar with a variety of different soups.We all bring one or two of our favorite soup recipes to eat, and usually recipes are exchanged as well. The fall is a great time to enjoy a warm bowl of soup right?!
#13-Thanksgiving Dinner-I love the traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu. The turkey, potatoes, gravy, pie etc. I think sitting down to dinner with friends or loved ones is a great way to spend the day. We also try to go around and discuss the different things we are thankful for, which is a great reminder for everyone. We live in such a wonderful country and have so many things to be grateful for.
#14-Twelve days of Christmas-I will admit this tradition does not happen every year for us. But–when we have done the 12 days of Christmas for other people (usually neighbors) it’s made the Christmas season more meaningful. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on this activity. It can be as simple as home made treats and dollar store items. In the end it will be fun for both parties–the giver and the receiver. More importantly, its a great reminder as to why service helps us to be happier and feel more fulfilled in life.
#15- Acting out the Nativity on Christmas Eve– If you’re not religious it may be fun to act out “The Night Before Christmas” instead. There is just something special and fun when it comes to dressing up and acting out a story with family and friends. I look back on my childhood and I thought it was really fun that every year, the same brother was the donkey in our little play. This brother had fun with his part as the donkey, and I look back on that time as a child with fondness.
TRADITIONS I WANT TO START:
*Decorate a door with “Back-to-school” supplies and treats-My friend decorates her pantry door with cute pencils and treats and her child’s name when they go back to school and start a new grade. I love this idea because it adds some extra excitement to the new school year. I hope to incorporate this into our school routine too!
*Birthday Week– I know quite a few people that celebrate family members birthday everyday for a week. It can be small things such as a treat with a note on it, or a ballon with the word “Birthday Week” written on it. I think this can be a fun way to help that person feel extra special for a week:)
I am sure there are many more traditions I could add. What are your favorite family traditions?