page contents

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Best Family Traditions

As we wrap up a weekend of traditions, I'm reminded of an article I wrote last year in Because I'm feeling a bit lazy, and it still reflects how I feel, I'm re-publishing it on blogger...

Family game night. Sunday afternoon drives. Saturday morning scrapbooking. Anytime I contrived a new family tradition, it fell flat against a wall of disdained faces. The more thought I put behind a family tradition, the worse it was received. After a few well-intentioned failures, it struck me. Our best family traditions are those that aren’t planned.

Like piling in the car on Thanksgiving night, wearing pajamas (as a comfort to our bellies from the gluttonous day), to drive through the country viewing Christmas lights hung by the ambitious holiday fanaticals, who we vow to become someday.

Or, strolling to a decrepit bridge, overlooking a small creek on any warm day to skip stones and make up stories about the special rocks we find on the way.

Or, popping open a bottle of “bubbly” on Christmas morning to make toasts with our best wine classes. It didn’t occur to me the spontaneous purchase of sparkling grape juice would turn into a tradition until the following year when my daughter asked a few days before Christmas, “Mom, aren’t you going to buy the sparkling grape juice again?”

But the best tradition in our household comes every night, about fifteen minutes before bedtime. “Mom, can we lay in your bed for a little while? And will you read us a book?” My son never forgets to ask. And, of course, I rarely turn down a chance to read. Even my daughter, who has read the entire Harry Potter series, crawls into our bed with excitement to share in reading time. Sometimes I embellish a story to achieve a laugh. Sometimes my husband starts a tickle fight and reading becomes a moot point. No matter, the nightly tradition, as simple as it sounds, is the most successful tradition to evolve in our household. How do I determine if a tradition is successful? Mostly by the expressions on my family’s face. Joy is easy to see.

No comments: