February is a great time to talk about family traditions with Valentine’s Day and Family Day right around the corner. Family traditions connect us, give us something to look forward to and can even be used to reinforce our values. Sometimes though, it is hard to know where to begin when curating your own family traditions.
In our home, some traditions are well defined – like getting to open your stocking on Christmas morning before breakfast, while others largely go unspoken but are somehow known like Friday night family movie night.
One of the fond memories that my children still talk about from when they were small are birthday balloons. On the morning of their birthdays, my boys would come into the living room to a whole bunch of balloons either hanging from the ceiling or in a big pile to play in. The first time we did this for our children, we really didn’t think about it becoming a tradition. When the kids were getting excited the following year about their birthdays, balloons came up in conversation multiple times and we knew it had stuck.
Over the years our traditions have evolved. Some traditions are really special when children are small and others are grown out of. Both kinds of traditions are equally important. For example, the birthday balloons aren’t as important as they once were, but a birthday decorations is a must in our dining area.
The key to coming up with your own traditions is to keep it simple & have fun! See below for a few ideas.
Fun Family Tradition Ideas:
- bedtime story
- date time with Mommy or Daddy
- a new book every birthday
- Friday movie night
- weekly games night
- ice cream sundae party on the last day of school before summer break
- the red plate
What is the red plate about? The idea behind this tradition is to honour someone’s special milestone or achievement around the dinner table by having them use a special red plate that is saved for this very purpose.
Our red plate has helped us celebrate new jobs, promotions, birthdays, report cards and retirements. In a world that at times is so fast-paced, we sometimes forget to take a moment and pause and acknowledge each other’s exciting news. The red plate tradition takes very little effort and yet the feeling you get when you are the one using it is quite significant. The red plate tradition has become one of my favourite items to gift. This is the little poem that I include with the plate.
May today be one of many red letter days
Times you’ll remember in so many ways
This gift is a tradition for you to start
A gift of love, straight from the heart
On days that are special that you’ll want to recall
Set out the red plate to celebrate it all
Honour the person and their great feat
On this special plate, let them joyously eat
It may be a birthday, promotion or good grade
A Little League win or a wise choice that was made
May your years together as husband and wife
Bring you countless special days throughout your life
This wonderful times will come and go
Keep the red plate at the ready as your blessings flow
Here is to you creating your own special traditions with your families!