Monday, November 15, 2010

Family Traditions

One of my favorite things about the retreat I attended was talking about family traditions. I loved hearing how other families celebrate holidays, birthdays, special occasions. I came home with a few new ones I intend on implementing in my own family. Many people have a Thankful Tree in the month of November and I love that idea. I had every intention of coming home and making a tree and cute little leaves...and then 4 busy kids kept me from that. So my friend Suzanne who I met at the retreat just recently surprised me by sending a bunch of leaves. Thanks Sue!! Maybe next year I'll get to making the tree but for now we write what we're thankful for and tape them around the pantry so everyone can see them. I think on Thanksgiving we'll read them all. I love what they have written so far...Will wrote that he's thankful for family, God and the trees. Hannah wrote one about being thankful for puppies even though we don't have one. Stephen was thankful for the Himalayans and their invention of the neti pot..he's addicted to that thing. Don't ask. Anyway, it's such a great tradition to get kids to think about being grateful in their lives.

We have a tradition that we started in our family a few years ago on New Years Eve. Steve and I never go out that night. We love being home with the kids and I'm paranoid of driving around. I love being home with a fire, our traditional Chinese food and ice cream sundaes and some champagne. So that evening everyone writes down on a piece of paper something they'd like to forget about during the past year. We fold it up, don't show anyone and  throw it in the fire. It's a great way to start a New Year.

I'd love to hear some of the traditions that others have!!

Found this over at Designmom it's hysterical. I want to give a gift that causes that!!


  1. hey.....i thought you were going to use the 200 little leaves I cut out for you? damn...i labored for hours on them. and what the heck Sue....? i would love some of those fab acorns and leaves....guess being up in maine "leaves" me out in the COLD....
    i am punny tonite!
    hope you are well and enjoying your fall.

  2. Love that New Years Eve tradition!

  3. Your leaves look great and I love the New Years tradition. We are homebodies too...maybe we will give this one a a try.
    Enjoy the day Pam

  4. The day after Thanksgiving I fix a good breakfast, we all shower and get around, and then we head out to get our Christmas tree! All of us are bundled up and giving critique on the trees while daddy holds them up, stomps off all the possible needles until we find the perfect, fat, tall, Christmas tree. :o) Then we head over the the Hallmark store and we each pick out a new Christmas ornament to hang on the tree that year. We go home, put the tree in the stand, give it water, I fix hot chocolate, we listen to Christmas music until the tree has 'come down' enough to put on the lights..... it is one of my most favorite times of the year! :o)

  5. I love the little acorns! We have lots of little traditions (I didn't have a lot of them growing I knew it was something I wanted to have with my family)...but my favorite is Christmas Eve. After our son goes to bed (and is asleep!) we have shrimp, cheese, crackers & champagne and wrap Brady's gifts. It's our time together to stop and enjoy the moment. We read the Christmas Story. We look forward to this evening every year.

  6. We read grateful notes at the Tgiving table before we say Grace and eat. I LOVE your NYE tradition...I don't like going out either! Most traditions are food related. Great post! Love you Pam! I'm getting a neti-pot for Lynn's stocking
    this year! xo

  7. i love the idea of throwing the thing thaey want to forget in the fire! awesome! hugs, Cathy

  8. Thanks for the shout-out, I'm SO HAPPY you liked them! We're still plugging away with our blessings, and my window is pretty much covered.

    I love your NYE tradition. It's not so different from ours, except we opt for sushi and talk about what we want to accomplish (personally, professionally, as a family) in the coming year. This past year we included the kids (they wouldn't go to bed) and it was so much more fun!

  9. This is genius. I can't wait to add this "fire burning to forget" tradition in our house. Thanks for sharing! And I couldn't agree more, there is nothing better than staying in on New Year's Eve...

  10. I love the tossing of the written item to forget in the fireplace. And we, too, stay in on New Years Eve and get Chinese food. And we are usually asleep by midnight :)

    I have two traditions that I would like to share. I do not do them, though, I have a friend who told me about them.

    1) She has four children and to avoid any chaos on Christmas morning as to whose gifts are whose she brings the children out shopping to select their own wrapping paper. A few days before Christmas, they put the paper under the tree for the "Wrapping Paper Elf" who then takes it and ensures that all of their gifts get wrapped in the paper that each of them picked out. That way on Christmas morning, everyone knows which gifts are theirs.
    I have just one son, so no confusion here :)

    2) We keep all the Christmas story books in a basket near the tree and choose which ones to read when ever we choose. My friend, however, to avoid the kids arguing over which book to read, wraps them all up in Christmas wrapping paper and then they each take turns selecting one to open and that is the book they read together that night.
    Isnt that a neat idea?

    ~Andrea in NH

  11. Neat ideas! I think we may string our "leaves" and "acorns" on a piece of twine or yarn to make a little garland to put over the doorway. Thanks for your enthusiasm and your love of family. It shines through your blog!

  12. Love your New Years Eve tradition!

    We have a fun tradition at Christmas that we do. I'll post about it soon, but it involves going to the dollar store all together (mid-December)...splitting up and choosing 1 thing for each person without them seeing...coming home and wrapping them up.
    They have become our favorite gifts to open on Christmas Eve!

    Love the other readers ideas too.