12 Traditions to Start with Your Family

I am all about creating a little fun in the ordinary, making magic in the mudane.  What better way than to find and enjoy the tiny celebrations in life. 
This doesn't mean that you need a ton of time and money, just a couple ideas that can make your home and family a litte cozier and complete. 
Here are some things I'd like to share with you guys.  I have actively done some of these, others, while others  I plan on implementing within the year. 

1) New Years:

photo from: http://www.weddingdates.ie/blog/2009/08/flying-chinese-lanterns-spectacular-wedding-display/

I'm still mulling over what I'd like to do for this coming New Years...after all, I've got time.  But here is what I am thinking..

- Chinese New Year: create lanterns, hand out little red envelopes filled with money and candy and eat some yummy Chinese food.

- Pennsylvania Dutch: Pork and Kraut Dinner for Good Luck

Some blogs with fun suggestions and ideas

2) President's Day:


If there is anyway to teach my kids a "fun" way to learn history then I'm all about it!  So for President's Day, I thought these activities would be well...."fun".

-Learn about a different President every year.  Collect some fun facts about each of them, such as their hobbies, favorite foods, and funny things they did.

-Dress up like the President and do fun portraits, and neat-o activities. 
 Ex: If learning about Abe Linclon, create a long beard to wear and take pictures of one another OR/AND Make a log cabin out of pretzel rods and peanut butter START A debate, for who wants to become the next President.


3) Valentines Day:

from: http://www.missiondecorate.com/2012/01/little-jar-with-whole-lot-of-love.html

-We do a Compliment Jar, or you can call it a Love Jar for Valentines Day.  It is a jar I put out after New Years. This gives us time to fill out compliments for one another There is a tiny pieces of paper and pencils sitting beside it, just waiting for people to fill out warm delicious compliments for their family members.  Our Rule:  One has to write at LEAST 3 compliments for each member of the family.

-I think a RED and PINK dinner, along with some fun facts about the origin of Valentines would be neat-o.

Photo from: http://www.bedifferentactnormal.com/2012/01/valentines-dinner-for-kids-valentines.html

4) Saint Patrick's Day:

-Who doesn't love Shamrock Shakes??  Nobody right?  We made some yummy ones for Saint Patty's Day.

Photo From: http://juneberry-lane.blogspot.com/2012/03/yay-its-friday-flashback-shamrock.html
-Of course I want to teach my kids about Saint Patrick and his very interesting journey to Christianity.

-Go On A Shamrock Hunt

5) Easter:

I beleive too much time is spent on the fluffy bunny than the real reason for the season, which is why I LOVE this.  First time we did this, and the kiddies enjoyed it and learned a lot!!


-A Jerusalem Dinner/ aka Last Supper dinner of sorts.  I am talking about a meal you can eat with your hands and sit on the ground.  Chow down on some lamb, goat cheese, unleavened bread, fish, honey-why not throw in some locusts!!-Or not.  We took a sip of vinegar, felt the prick of a thorn, washed one another's feet and sat a picture of Jesus at the table.  Throw in some verses from the scriptures and Viola, you have an Easter tradition truly fit for our King. It was wonderful, we will definitely be doing this next year and many more years to come.

Sites to Check Out:
6) Memorial Reunion Weekend:

There is no time like Memorial Day Weekend to get the extended family together and have a party/reunion of sorts.  There are soo many fun activities to do:


-Sack Races
-Bar B Que
-Talent Show
-Relay Races
-Camp Out in Back Yard
- Pie Bake Off
- Pie Eating Contest
- Guessing Games

7) 4th of July:

I keep thinking I need to do something really special for the Fourth of July.  After all, it rings freedom, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness.  We live on the eastcoast- as you well know, so there is a rich history at our fingertips.  This year I would love to do one or two things. 

-Check out what your local sites have to offer!!  My plans for this year, is to take the family to: Fonthill: An awesome concrete mansion.  On the 4th there is everything from old fashioned watermelon eating contest to a decorate your bike parade, to an old time baseball game, to characters dressed up, to crafts and food.  And best of all....it's FREE!!  You know how I adore FREE!


-A colonial dinner, by candlight, dressing, eating and debating like it was 1776.  If you don't want to create one yourself-which I think is the fun part, I'm sure there is something local that offers a colonial dinner...maybe.  I'm lucky because where I live, on the east side of Pennsylvania, there is lots of stuff to be offered here....like the picture way below that is offered at Peddler's Village. Oh how I love where I live.



Peddler's Village Picture: They offer Colonial Dinners.  I've been to one-as a kid.
8) Back yard Movie Night:

-I wish for a backyard movie night.  I just need a
projector and screen.

-ANd if you don't have these materials...there is always local outside, free movie nights in parks.  Look into what your community has to offer.  A lot of times there is free popcorn and rootbeer offered....that's what our little town does.  Mmmm 

9) Around The World Dinners:

-Oh how I love doing this! We have already experienced, a bit of Europe, through Italy, France and Switzerland.  It is fun to whip up delicious creations from a different part of the world.  We have a BIG map in our kitchen and we spot the land in which we are eating.  Sometimes....okay all the time, I have fun activities to go with this.  Activities that are related to the country in which we are visiting.


Check out Me Under Family Dates:

10) Fall Festival:

-Your Own Version of a Fall Festival.  I did this a few years back for the kiddies I used to watch and their parents, as well as neighbors.  Activities you can do:


-Pumpkin Decorating
-Scarecrow Contest
-Tug Of War
-Relay Races
-Bean Bag Toss
-Face Painting

At our party everyone brought a fall related food to join in the fun.  It was a success, and now that the girls are old enough, I think it is time to re-implement the crazy wonderful-ness of the Fall Festival.

11) Thanksgiving:

I am so thankful, for a thankful turkey.  ;-)

-It might sound funny, but we have a thankful turkey.  It is a turkey we build one feather hand at a time.  Everyday in the month of November we trace out someone's hand and then write down a few things we are grateful for.  It's fun to watch the turkey emerge!!

-Dinner Time Story Hour.  I share with Dad and the girls our Thanksgiving history at dinner.  We discuss, ask questions, look at pictures and find places on our giant map in the kitchen.
12) Christmas:

I am no singer...in fact it's probably better that I don't sing.  Despite this, I love, love, love, our Christmas Tradition.


-Annual Caroling Party.  We gather a bunch of friends and family, eat yummy homemade soup, rolls and salad.  It's another potluck.    Then it is out into the chilly night to sing up our neighbors and deliver cookies.  Afterwards we come in and decorate and eat our own cookies.  We play two games in addition:

-The clothespin game: you can't say, cookies, caroling or Christmas, except when out caroling of course.  If you catch someone else saying these words then by all means take their clothespin.  The person with the most clothespins at the end of the night wins!!

-Favorite Christmas Memory. We each write down 3 of our favorite Christmas memories and put it in a basket.  Then I read aloud and we all guess who's memory it is. 

Secret Santa:  Pick Someone/Family out who is struggling and to secretly take care of them for Christmas.  Always a Good One.


Christmas Putz:  Check out your local churches, it's the Christmas Story, with a HUGE diarama. 

Traditions are part of life, they knit families together, and create joy.  Whether it be reading the scriptures every night as a family, or having a caroling party every year, we are creating memories, consistent happy memories to pass down to the generations to come.  Happy Planning!!

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