Family Traditions | Do you have them?


T and I were driving home the other night and I shared with him that I may buy a Family Football game so we could all play together. I really don't like video games, or football, but I do love my family and I would love to have traditions.

Does your family have any family traditions?

We never had this type of thing growing up. I wasn't affected by not having that. With our kids, I would love to have time that they can look back and remember these special nights together. T is already on the verge of us being so NOT cool so these next few years will need some quality cramming of family tradtiions. I can hear myself saying “We are making a family tradition, you will thank us for this one day so zip it!” Or, maybe not so much just like that, but … :)

Last year at MOPS, our Mentor Mom shared her family tradition on Friday evenings. They made subs, watched a movie or played a game, and then took the foil from the subs and each took turns throwing them in the trash can. That sounded like fun! The kids would get to make their own subs and we would enjoy time together as a family.

I had a few thoughts as I was sharing this with hubs. I'm so NOT creative when it comes to this type of thing. Here were my ideas:

  1. Movie Night (FREE from Redbox, of course) and make pizzas or subs (just like I mentioned above).
  2. Game Night with a board game or video game.

Yeah, so as you can see I need help!! Maybe there's a book I could get for this. Or, if you could share your ideas, that would be even better! My whole desire in this is spending quality time together as a family.

What do you suggest?

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  1. Danielle Miller on October 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    With game night, pick things that are either low on structure and/or long on time. Penny poker is fun for everyone. Or something like Risk, although it has lots of structure, it’s going to take the whole freaking night!

    My family has always done cookie night during the holidays. One day where we bake a gazillion cookies for the holidays. People are given different chores. Usually the guys are designated mixers so they can sit in front of the tv and just have to mix anything they’re handed. One person usually pulls together all of the ingredients to throw into a bowl before it gets handed off to the mixers. And another person is in charge of the oven. A good job for kids is to spoon out the cookies onto the trays and decorate them with M&Ms or raisins or whatever. Everyone has a job, it’s casual, and the endless supplies of fresh cookies keeps everyone around.

  2. Sue Glew on October 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    We have Pop Tart Friday…since I don’t consider Pop Tarts a healthy breakfast, but I don’t want to deprive my son from one of life’s greatest treats! Once a week is a good compromise.

    We also watch Survivor and pick our own teams. We just divvy up the players. Each week the person who has the Survivor player that got kicked off has to make beds (this doesn’t always happen, but it is a good idea). At the end of the show, the person who has the winner gets treated to a Milk Shake that the rest of us have to buy and watch them eat.

  3. Laurie S. at Lifescript on October 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Oh my gosh, I have a lot! (My kids are 16, 13, and 10, so we’ve been doing this for some time!) One of my weekly faves is our family “sleepover.” We originally started it to keep our kids from wanting to sleep with us when they were toddlers. We held Saturday night as the “holy grail” when they could! (Strangely, that worked, and they didn’t come in the rest of the week!) Anyway, to this day, we have a Sat-night sleepover. Kids are now in sleeping bags all over the floor, but it still involves popcorn and a fun movie. Oldest watches SNL with Dad at midnight, but the rest of us nod off earlier. Sun morn we wake and feel relaxed, read paper, etc. — no one has to be anywhere.

    We also do a big Sunday brunch that Dad makes with his famous salsa and egg burritos. (He switches off with pancakes sometimes.) Kids love his salsa, but when he makes pancakes he makes them into shapes for each kid, like hearts or dinosaurs or their initial.

    Just silly stuff like that ends up being memorable for your kids. Whenever you do something that everyone thinks is fun, just make a note to do it again the next week, or the next Halloween, or the next spring, or whatever, and suddenly it becomes a “tradition”! : )

  4. Anne on October 16, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    We played a lot of different card games growing up. My grandmother was forever teaching us new ones. We would play for pennies, then she would have us “cash” in at the end of the night. I remember laughing, a lot!

    My parents play dominoes with the kids and they really like that. There are several variations.

    My kids and I like to play word games like Scrabble or Boggle. But any mental game works for us – yes, we are nerds! =) Oh, and Scene It games are a lot of fun, too.

  5. Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free on October 16, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    We have Pizza/Movie/Popcorn night every Friday night. To keep the pizza from getting boring I change up the toppings, and try to make it different ways (on french bread, as a casserole). The kids rotate on who helps make it, which gives me one on one time with them (although it is spent in the kitchen :) ).

    We also do game night: Family Cranium, building with Dominoes–or playing them, Pictionary, and occasionally we’ll bust out the Playstation and we will all play in the living room.

    As far as other traditions–we make a big deal out of food/crafts on holidays/special moments. The kids, and hubs too, help make the food, which of course is themed to the holiday. For Halloween last year we made trail mix (I forget the name the kids came up with), a Mummy Pizza (basically a strombolli that I braided to look like a mummy), a green punch and I forget the dessert (the ideas are endless, though).

  6. Laurie S. at Lifescript on October 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Another one I just thought of for fall is to go to a farmer’s market or some kind of pumpkin patch. We have one in So. Cal (San Diego area) that has a corn maize, tractor rides, etc. Helps the kids get excited about trying new veggies (they’re more interesting when they see they come from the ground!). I let them each pick out a “strange” veggie they want to try. (This is where they first saw popcorn on the cob!) Also the weather is always nice, etc. Even my teens still look forward to this. Just a nice, relaxing family day. We always have an outdoor picnic on our way there.

  7. Delores on October 16, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    One we have is actually for birthdays and special days (baptismal anniversaries, etc)… a family slumber party. We stay up late and watch lots of movies and eat lots of popcorn and cheese and fruit and have kool aid. My kids don’t do sleepovers, so this is fun for them. During Advent, we have special Advent Activities that we do… watch special movies (you should definitely see The Fourth Wiseman!), donate clothes to an Angel Tree Child, etc.

  8. Debbie on October 16, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Most, but not all, of our traditions involve the holidays. The kids know that there are four ornaments and a story involved with the beginning of decorating the tree (they’re teens now and make me tell the story each year).

    My husband related that growing up there would be a weekly game night in his family. We live a mile away, and his dad has alzheimers, so we’re starting game night again to keep his mind active.

  9. Tammy on October 30, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    As I was searching for family traditions for my own family, a friend at church ‘gave’ me one of hers. It’s called the “Blue Plate Special”. Use a blue plate if you have one, otherwise any plate will do as long as it is different from all the others. When you (or your child) sets the table, the ‘blue plate’ is placed at one place setting. Whoever has the plate is “Special” and you go around the table and each tell something that is special about that person or something you appreciate, etc. You can do this as often or as little as you like since it requires very little effort. This gives us all a reminder that we are unique individuals blessed with qualities we sometimes don’t even recognize in ourself and helps our children to see the positive in the family God has placed them in. (Haven’t gotten to the teenage stage yet but I’m sure it will be a tremendous bonus then.) I really enjoy Mommy Snacks and wish you and your family many happy memories together!

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