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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Family Traditions

Traditions are really important in our little family. They are fun. They are memorable. And they bring everyone closer together. Here are the traditions that we have incorporated into our family so far.

February 
- Write love notes to the kids and put in their mailboxes each day leading up to Valentine's Day
- Send out valentines to classmates at school
- Kids open small love gifts and notes on Valentine's Day morning
- Fancy Valentine's family dinner at home

March
- "All-things-green" dinner at home on St. Patty's Day (a new tradition for next year)

April
- Decorate eggs
- Make Resurrection Rolls
- Easter egg hunt in the backyard

July
- Anniversary dinner (just the two of us)
- Fourth of July celebration downtown
- Fireworks in our driveway   

August
- Back to school celebration feast (a new tradition for next year)
- First day of school pictures on the front porch
- Celebrate three birthdays (Scot's, Jacob's and mine)

October
- Carve or paint pumpkins
- Play in the leaves
- Halloween t-shirts
- Pumpkin farm
- Dress up and go trick-or-treating thru the neighborhood
- Send Christmas gift and letter to Kalunda, our Compassion International child in Africa

November
- Write thankful tags and hang on our Thankful Tree each day leading up to Thanksgiving
- Buy gifts and pack shoeboxes to donate to Operation Christmas Child
- Celebrate Brooklyn's birthday

December
- Read the Advent Book each day leading up to Jesus' birth on Christmas Day
- Celebrate Connor's birthday
- Make ornaments
- Trim the tree and put up decorations together
- Bake goodies
- Make gift bags with goodies for family, friends, neighbors and teachers
- Make gingerbread houses
- Christmas pictures with Santa
- Christmas lights at the Opryland Hotel
- Christmas Eve service at church
- Kids open one gift on Christmas Eve (new Christmas pajamas)
- Scot reads the Advent Book and the Christmas story on Christmas morning
- Kids open three main gifts from us, one gift from Santa and their stocking on Christmas morning
- Fix appetizers and snacky foods at home and stay up late on New Year's Eve

Some other traditions we do as a family include family dinners each night, family devotions at the dinner table (a new tradition we are starting), reading books and saying prayers at bedtime. We have pizza and movie night almost every Friday. We have football parties, get-togethers or BBQ's almost every Saturday in the fall. We go sledding and make snow ice cream every winter. We go swimming a lot in the summer. We also take a family vacation for a week every summer. Something we all look forward to.

Some traditions we'll keep, some will change over time. Different seasons of life will bring about different traditions so we know we have to be flexible. (Like waiting to serve in a homeless shelter until the kids are older.) The most important part is spending time together as a family. Having fun. Building memories that will last a lifetime. 

What are your favorite family traditions?

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