Friday, September 23, 2016

52 Lists #38 - Our Family Traditions

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52 Lists #38 - Our Family Traditions on Homeschool Coffee Break @

This week our 52 Lists assignment is to list our family's traditions. (See details and more lists at 52 Lists at Beauty Full Slow.)

I've noticed that often when asked about family traditions, most people react at first by thinking they don't really have any. Or at least that their traditions aren't anything out of the ordinary. But at its simplest, a tradition is a custom or information that is handed down from generation to generation. I found an interesting article on that discussed family traditions and their importance (see it here: Family Traditions: The Ties That Bind), which contained this simple definition:
. . . traditions were what people carried with them and part of what people wanted their families to become.
It went on to talk about how family traditions often are related to the holidays or special occasions, and are more than just the everyday family routines such as a nightly bedtime story or who sits where at the dinner table.  So with that in mind, here are some of what I consider our family traditions, organized by the special occasions they've grown up around.

  • whenever we phone an extended family member on their birthday, we try to sing the worst possible version of the Happy Birthday song we can. Goofy voices, off-key, horrid "harmonies", everyone in a different key or timing, and odd background noises. This one is from my side of the family, and started when I was a teen, I think. We're not sure. It's a weird and hilarious tradition though!
  • we don't always have a party, but the birthday kid does always get to request their birthday dinner and the kind of birthday cake (or dessert) they'd like. My mom used to do that for me and my siblings. When the birthday person is ME, the family takes me out for dinner.
  • Some birthdays are milestones and in our family, Thirteen is a big one. That was the age at which each of our kids was first allowed to drink coffee, and we made a huge deal out of it!
52 Lists #38 - Our Family Traditions on Homeschool Coffee Break @ 52 Lists #38 - Our Family Traditions on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Graduation and School Occasions
  • I try to take first day of school pictures. My students have not always been cooperative, but we do our best.
  • the graduating student gets to choose the family vacation that summer (within certain budgetary guidelines, of course! See my post: The Summer of Landon)
52 Lists #38 - Our Family Traditions on Homeschool Coffee Break @

52 Lists #38 - Our Family Traditions on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Other Annual Events
  • we bake pies for Pi Day!
  • we make sure to eat Lucky Charms for breakfast on St. Patrick's Day!
  • we have a family Stanley Cup play-off pool.
52 Lists #38 - Our Family Traditions on Homeschool Coffee Break @

  • we celebrate Thanksgiving on both the Canadian and the US dates, and with a deep-fried turkey on at least one of those occasions. (See my post: Thanksgiving Inspiration from Canada)
  • we start decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving Day
  • on the day before Thanksgiving, my hubby's hockey league hosts "Gobble In the Lot" which is a tailgate/potluck style Thanksgiving dinner for the players and their families. 
  • when I was a kid my mom tried to take a family picture of everyone at the dinner table, and we kids would always try to "ruin" it by freezing with a forkful of food halfway into our mouth, or with a drinking glass to our lips. That became a traditional holiday picture in my family, and now the next generation is proudly carrying it on!
updated photos: Christmas dinner 2018 - the tradition continues!

  • we always have Christmas-themed puzzles on the go throughout the holidays. 
  • we watch A Christmas Carol (the Alistair Sim version) on Christmas Eve, and It's A Wonderful Life on Christmas Day. And we love to watch Christmas movies and specials together throughout the season, which is special because we don't watch TV as a family much during the rest of the year.
  • the tree stays up until Epiphany. 
  • A couple of years ago, we intentionally planned a new tradition, and started our Family 12 Days of Christmas (See my posts: Our Family's Twelve Days of Christmas and On the Twelfth Day of Christmas)
12 Days of Christmas

Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world. ~Susan Lieberman
What are some of your family's traditions? Leave a comment and let me know, and visit Beauty Full Slow to see more.

52 lists with Chasing Slow

This post is part of the July 2019 Homeschool Collection on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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Todayisme said...

Your family traditions are superb! I love all the goofy antics that they partake in. Makes for some terrific memories!

Unknown said...

One of my favourite traditions is our Christmas light drive. Every year we all pile in the van and take a slow drive through the local towns to look at the lights. We drink hot coco and play music while we go. It's simple but we look forward to this every year!

Kym said...

we do the annual Christmas light drive too!

Joanne said...

I love the idea of singing off key on purpose!

~a homemaker said...

Love your list! And, I wholeheartedly agree, that traditions do become the ties that bind. Pi day sounds fun :)

Megan Russell said...

Sounds like some fun traditions! We also have funny things we like to do that may not make sense to anyone but us!

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