I find it interesting to hear about family traditions, as each family is so unique. As a kid you think that everything your family does is the “normal” way of doing things and it is not until you are older that you realize just how unique and special those family traditions are. There are several family traditions that I now carry on with my kids that I hold close to my heart. Many of my best childhood memories come from the same traditions I now hold with my kids. We have also mixed in some new family traditions that the kids have really enjoyed. It is never too late to start some a family tradition. Here are 10 Family traditions you can start anytime:
10 Family Tradition Ideas You Can Start Anytime
1 – Christmas Baking – While I get my kids involved in the kitchen all year long Christmas baking is special. We set aside a day with my Mom, sister and any other family or friends that would like to take part to bake all of our favourite Christmas treats. We get the kids involved as much as we can, and once they are done helping they can watch a Christmas movie while we finish up. Not only do we get to have a fun day together, but we also have lots of goodies to give out as hostess gifts and for our own parties.
2 – Family Dinner Celebrations – While my Dad’s side of the family had more formal “Sunday night dinners”, celebrations with my Mom’s side of the family were a little more relaxed. They always had an open door policy where everyone was welcome, which meant that it was not only just family but also some of my Mom’s friends that would come to the celebrations was well. The house was filled with laughter and love. And of course the food! KFC was the meal of choice, with a buffet laid out with the buckets of chicken in the middle surrounded by salads and fries. I remember it being such a treat to have KFC, and how much I loved, loved, loved the chicken. While my Grandma P. passed away before my kids were born, I always think of her every time we have a bucket of KFC chicken. Today our family celebrations continue, and KFC is still a meal served proudly to everyone around the table. Did you know that KFC is made from the same Canadian raised chicken you would find in your local grocery store? If you ever ask Roo what she wants for dinner her answer is always “chicken burger” which is her request for KFC chicken. The people around the table may have changed a little, but the love and laughter at these dinners has not changed one bit. Invite some people over that you care about for a potluck, grab a bucket of KFC chicken and make some memories.
3 – Sleepover with Christmas Tree – This one is a new one for our family, but we loved it so much that I know it will become a yearly tradition for us. They boys got new blankets for their bed this year but instead of wanting to put them on their beds right away they asked to sleep in the living room with the Christmas tree. After going over some house rules about sleeping in the living room the boys set up their “beds” on the couch and had a great sleep over in the light of the Christmas tree. They have already been asking when Christmas is coming again so that they can do it again.
4 – Decorate a Birthday Chair – Another new tradition I introduced with my kids is the Birthday Chair. I decorated one of the kitchen chairs with streamers and balloons for their birthday. It doesn’t take much work but birthday boy/girl sure feels special when the come down to see a special spot just for them! We also presented Monkey with special “breakfast” (don’t worry that is not really what he had for breakfast on his birthday).
5 – Yearly Photo – Start the tradition of taking a family photo every year. It doesn’t have to he a Christmas photo like many families do. For my family, we always do a Canada Day photo, it is fun to look at just how much the kids have changed over a year. Find something that fits with your family and then remember to capture it every year for a special memory.
4 year later… Oh how things change
6 – Go on a Picnic – Want to get kids excited about a meal, tell them you are going on a picnic! It is awesome to get out to your local park in the summer for picnic, but you are not limited to when the weather is nice. We recently hosted an indoor picnic when we had friends from out of town visit. A coffee table, table cloth, and yummy food and we were all set. The menu doesn’t have to be fancy or take a lot of time to prepare. Our picnic included fruits, cheese, KFC Chicken, fries, and pumpkin bread. The kids loved preparing their own plates and having their own table to sit at. Somehow picnics always make food taste even better! KFC makes it easy to put together a picnic meal fast, and I know the kids are getting high quality Canadian raised chicken. Summer or winter picnics are a fun family tradition.
7 – Height Measurements – It is fun to track how much how quickly kids grow. As a child my height was tracked on a door frame at my Grandparents house. I decided for my kids I wanted something that could come with us if we ever moved. We use wooden height bars that are beautifully stained and hang in our hallway for our kids. Twice a year we do measurements, and I can see just why my grocery bill is getting so big!
8 – Camping – Now don’t worry if the thought of living without running water and a toilet scares you. As much as I do enjoy outback camping I know it is not for everyone (especially when you have young kids). But you don’t need to head to a campground to create your own camping experience. With the kids being so little we opted for backyard camping where we still create fun memories and sleep under the stars, but the bathroom is not far away.
9 – Share Your Happiness – Several studies have shown benefits of showing and sharing gratitude to help improve emotional, psychological, and even physical health. Build in a little gratitude and thankfulness into your day by sharing once a day with your family something that has made you happy and something that you are thankful for. We go around the table at dinner time and everyone shares there 2 things that brightened up their day. It is a great conversation starter and also gives us some insight into what is going on in our kids lives.
10 – Have a pumpkin Party – Have a neigbourhood party or invite some friends over to carve pumpkins before Halloween. Make it a potluck, so it is not too much work to host. Just provide newspapers, spoons and get carving! It is so fun to see how all the different pumpkins turn out, and a great way to spend some quality time with your neighbours. This is one family tradition that I am glad our whole street has made. There is always lots of laughs, pumpkin guts everywhere, and the best jack-o’-lanterns for blocks!
Creating memories, having fun and building relationships with your family is priceless. There are no rules when it comes to family traditions so get creative and start a new family tradition!
What is your favorite family tradition?
Disclosure: This post was brought to you by KFC, but opinions are strictly our own
Originally published Jan 2017