Family traditions are another fun list for me. At first I didn’t think we had too many traditions, but after making this list, I realize that we have more than I thought. I have been doing my best to incorporate traditions from both mommy and daddy’s childhood to give our son a great family experience.
I also really love reading about traditions other people have with their families. It’s my favorite way to find inspiration for new things to try with my own family. And let’s face it, some traditions are so much fun you can’t help but
steal borrow the idea from other people.
1. Birthday Picture
Every year I take a special birthday picture of my son. (Ok, like a true nostalgic mama, I take a lot of pictures, but there are a few specific points I absolutely HAVE to capture.) He always gets his picture taken when he wakes up to greet the world for the day in honor of waking me up at 2:43 in the morning for my first contraction. (TMI? sorry, it’s what happened!) The other picture I absolutely have to take is one at the time of his birth. So far, he’s always been asleep at this time, but his sleeping pictures are super cute. I place the pictures in a collage so we can see how much he’s grown over the years and hopefully I can keep this up until he turns 18.
2. Birthday Cake
I make C’s birthday cake every year. Yes, I could get him a fancy pants cake decorated like crazy, but I don’t find this necessary. We also make cake for daddy on his birthday and daddy makes one for my birthday. It’s our newest tradition for homemade cakes on birthdays. (And yes, homemade from a box still counts in our house.) Mr. H and C both get funfetti cakes while I prefer chocolate cake on my birthday.
3. Birthday Dinner
The birthday boy/girl gets to have the dinner of their choosing. As C hasn’t been old enough to ask yet, I just make whatever his favorite food has been at the time. Mr. H and I usually choose something like sushi or Chinese for our meals.
(A lot of birthday traditions, I know.) The birthday person is treated like a king. They get to take it easy all day as the rest of the family pampers them. It’s a fun relaxing way to spend a birthday and a way I like to honor the day we came into the world.
5. Mother’s Day
Daddy helps C with a Mommy’s Day gift. And mommy gives both grandmas presents from C. Mostly flowers for Mother’s Day but occasionally other fun items too.
6. Father’s Day
Mommy helps C with a gift for daddy. And mommy gives Pap a present from C. Pap is the hardest to buy for but we usually find some cute little token for him.
7. Summer Vacation
We try to take a family vacation during the summer. So far we have only had one vacation as a family but we’ll work on making that happen regularly. Perhaps a beach vacation because Mr. H and I both love the beach!
8. 4th of July
We’re still working on this one, but the plan is to start making the parade and fireworks a regular part of our 4th of July traditions. They were always part of mine when I was a child. Location to be determined, but I really enjoyed taking C back to my hometown for the celebration this year.
9. First Day of School
Picture! Of course there has to be a picture. Unfortunately, he’s so active and excited that I couldn’t get a cute picture of him standing with any kind of sign this year. But I did get several great shots of him for his first day of preschool.
10. October Horror Fest
Mr. H is a super huge fan of horror films and I really enjoy them. We watch them all year round with no problems. However, in October, we usually venture on a journey to watch a horror film each day in celebration of Halloween. We like to mix in classics with random ones we haven’t seen. (Or, that I really haven’t seen because he’s seen so many of them!)
So far I have made both of C’s Halloween costumes. I would like to continue this tradition as long as I can keep up with what he wants to be for Halloween. The first year he was Clifford the “Big” Red Dog and last year he was a Scarecrow. We never made it out anywhere fun in costume but I have pictures to remember it by.
12. Thanksgiving Dinner
We don’t have any special traditions other than to have a nice meal with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, and pumpkin pie. Thanksgiving isn’t complete for me without the pumpkin pie. I look forward to Thanksgiving all year just for the pie. Each year we seem to celebrate in a different place (Mr. H’s parents house, his sister’s house, at our own home) so we don’t have any specific traditions other than to have the meal.
13. Decorating for Christmas
We start the weekend after Thanksgiving. I don’t enjoy Black Friday shopping so that doesn’t consume my Friday. Christmas season officially starts for me the day after Thanksgiving and I try to get decorations up then. (Or as soon as possible if we’ve decided to spend a few days visiting family.) I’m hoping this year or next I can also start the fun of letting C put some of the ornaments on the tree. (I can’t wait for this, honestly!)
14. Christmas Ornament
Every year C gets a new ornament. As he gets older, he’ll start choosing his own but so far I have made the choices for him. I also made an ornament for his hospital bracelet which hangs on our tree as well. I usually hang his special ornaments together on the tree and make it C’s special spot.
15. Muppet Christmas Carol and Nightmare Before Christmas
During C’s first Christmas season, we watched this movie. He loved it so much that he was up and dancing to the songs. I have continued to make sure we watch this at least once (ok, probably once a week) during the Christmas season. Mr. H and I also really enjoy Nightmare Before Christmas and this is a movie we must watch between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
16. Christmas Baking
I love making cookies. And Christmas is the perfect excuse to whip up a bunch of random cookies. I’m looking forward to C being able to help me this year as he’s already trying to help as much as possible in the kitchen. (He’s my favorite little helper!)
17. Christmas Eve Box
Every year we open a special family present on Christmas Eve. It’s called a Christmas Eve Box and contains a pair of pajamas for each family member. I also sneak C’s copy of The Night Before Christmas into the box as well as a movie (which so far have just been movies we’ve owned.) And last but not least a bag of microwave popcorn and some hot chocolate. The idea is to put on fun new pajamas, watch the movie with our popcorn and hot chocolate. Then to read the book as a bedtime story.
18. Christmas Lights
For as long as I can remember, my mom and I had the tradition to go out and look at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. There was always one neighborhood where every single house had a display and it was pure magic (especially the gentleman at the start of the neighborhood dressed as Santa and handing out candy canes to the kids.) I started this tradition with C last year and was lucky enough to find some good neighborhoods to drive around in with plenty of lights to look at.
19. Christmas Breakfast
Cinnamon rolls. It’s my little tradition to have this fun breakfast treat on Christmas morning after opening presents.
We stay home and celebrate Christmas. It’s the one holiday where I will not allow the family to go anywhere to celebrate. We start the morning off with C’s stocking full of fun in his room. He gets to open it right there before heading out to open the presents under the tree. Presents get opened first thing in the morning. We then have breakfast and spend the day enjoying our new toys under the tree. I do make a special dinner for Christmas which happens to be fairly similar to Thanksgiving Dinner.