31 Days of Creative Homemaking :: Day 29--Creating Family Traditions

creating family traditions

Family traditions and memory making are big parts to making a house a home and so over the last three years my husband and I have started creating our own family traditions we hope to continue to pass on to our children one day.  When I think of my own childhood I look back on the little things my parents would do to make everyday life and special occasions unique to our family.  It is those memories that I hold onto that I want to provide for my own family and guests who come in our home.

Here are just a few of some of our favorite family traditions we have built over the last few years...

On Thanksgiving Eve and Christmas Eve my husband and I spend the evening at home celebrating these holidays on our own and then the following day spend it with our family.  This allows us to make our own traditions but still make time for our family (and keep them happy!).

On Thanksgiving Eve we put up our Christmas tree since we don't host anyone on Thanksgiving and on Christmas Eve we always have brownie sundaes for dessert!

We host an annual holiday dessert party which has become our one signature party besides birthdays each year.  The theme of the party is that each guest brings a dessert and they all get voted on leaving one winner who gets to go home with a prize.  Having a theme for the party gives guests something to talk about during the party as well as something to look forward to each year.

Just this year we started getting birthday donuts.  It began by getting up out of bed at midnight on my birthday for a spontaneous donut run.

On Halloween I make a pumpkin shaped pizza for dinner while we watch a movie and hand out candy to trick or treaters.

Once a week we have dinner with my parents and another night with our in laws.  It makes for a busy week sometimes but we enjoy having the consistent time to spend with our family.

Every year in the fall we visit a local large apple orchard, Apple Hill, where we stock up on apples, eat apple donuts and a corn dog, and take lots of pictures!

We also visit the State Fair that comes to Sacramento every summer.  I have fond memories visiting it growing up as a kid but also sweet memories of going every year with my husband when we were dating.  I always get barbecued corn on the cob and funnel cake!  It is amazing how many of our traditions are surrounded around food!

On Easter my husband and I gift each other Easter baskets.  And I might have to even continue this when we have kids!  We also host my parents for an Easter breakfast before running off to other Easter family festivities.  I anticipate having Easter breakfast a family tradition when we have our own kids.

On road trips we always make sure to stop at In-n-Out and Sonic Burger.

On Saint Patrick's Day we make mint chocolate chip milkshakes.

Every Valentine's Day I host a ladies Valentine's Day tea where we get together over tea, lunch, and a craft.  It is a fun way for me to pour into and treat my girlfriends to something nice.  

// Apparently we are obsessed with holidays and food!  That might be my doing.  But it sure is fun!  I would love to hear, what are some of your favorite family traditions from growing up or that you carry on in your family now?

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  1. That is great. I love the idea of creating your own family traditions... we have started to make a few of our own.

  2. Ashley, I couldn't agree with you more! My children and my husband have our traditions that continue even now that my children are grown. Every year my children get a new Christmas Ornament, and Christmas PJ's. We do a fair every fall here in Maine, apple picking, Chocolate Easter Bunnies, Thanksgiving Dessert is at my house for the entire family.
    It's fun to do traditions, but I realized that after my mom passed away, I needed to change things up a bit and now I try to keep things a little more flexible, because change is going to come whether you like it or not.

  3. I love traditions!! Some of our favorites include: baking christmas cookies with the kids, elf on the shelf antics, constructing a gingerbread house at the grandparents, pumpkin picking, Thanksgiving dinner at my parents with our family who visits from far away, we bake a birthday cake for Jesus and eat that Christmas morning. I know I'm missing a bunch, but it is so fun year round to have those things to look forward to!

  4. What fun traditions! I love the holiday dessert party idea, now if only my friends could get their act together and learn how to be domestic already... Haha otherwise I'm making all the desserts!

  5. We are slowly but surely making our own traditions but for the most part we continue on the traditions my parents had with us. We open new PJ's Christmas eve so that everyone looks nice in pictures the next morning. We go to the lake house the week of July 4th, this is one of the few times our entire family gets to be together. To wake up daddy Christmas morning the kids have to sing as loud and off tune as they possibly can. Every year we take our oldest daughter to the zoo on her birthday (which is today, 5 years old *tear*). Every year we decorate my parents Christmas tree with music, sugar cookies and hot cocoa. Every year we switch off which family we spend Christmas Day with, the other family we celebrate Christmas Eve. It has worked nicely because as each sibling gets married we have managed to stay on the same schedule. Oh yeah and every year my husband and I go to the Houston Live Stock Show and Rodeo and my mom, sisters and I have a girls night at the theater... the tickets are part of our Christmas presents. Something we started this year is that instead of the kids getting tangible gifts from their grandparents, they get to go out on a special "date" with them (this year is was Elmo Live and Beauty and the Beast musical). Those memories are longer lasting than any toy.

  6. I love this post!! As far as holidays go, it has been very difficult for Andrae and I to make our own traditions, unless they are several days before or after the holiday. Our families are huge, so we normally hit 2-3 events on Christmas Eve and another 2 on Christmas day.

    As a couple, our traditions normally focus more on the season, with a "bucket list" of things we do during each of the four seasons.

  7. We go to the pumpkin patch and take a family picture every year. It's so much fun to compare each year's pictures with the previous years and see how our little family has changed. We also spend Christmas day at our house each year. Anyone from either side of the family who chooses to join in is welcome, but we feel it's a priority for the kids to wake up at their own house on Christmas morning, especially now that the excitement over Santa is in full effect. I love the idea of your dessert party!

  8. Fabulous traditions! I'm a bit of a stickler for traditions in our house, too. And this is our first year with our little guy, so everything just seems even more fun this year! I love the dessert party idea. What a fun way to celebrate - and with a little less stress than planning a full mean. Although, Pinterest has so many dessert options…

    Stopping over from Cottage Magpie.


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