Monday, September 24, 2012

make yourself useful and...

start a family tradition.
it doesn't have to be big or expensive or complicated. my side of the family has like, a zillion traditions despite the fact that we are not ethnic in any way nor is any branch of the same faith denomination. somehow we just kind of fell into having certain traditions (like going to the radio city Christmas spectacular, going away for my mom's birthday, a Christmas eve party at my aunt's house, family reunions, going on vacation together to the same house every year despite the fact that there's no air conditioning, and that sort of thing). my husband's family has like, zero. we have accordingly ended up with something of a happy medium (meaning, not everything has to be a tradition because then it becomes an obligation but we have fun stuff to look forward to doing together throughout the year). here are some examples of things we've started doing each year:
-we go apple picking every year around the same time (in the middle of october, when my mutsu apples are ready) and pack a picnic and hang out in the orchard all day. we have done this since a few weeks after my daughter was born...on that first trip she was a bit of a nightmare, but i put her in her little apple outfit and took a ton of pictures and loved it anyway (no matter what the hubs might tell you). usually, we go pumpkin picking the week after that, complete with a hayride, and even my parents get in on the act.
-we throw a few different parties each year. i don't mean like Easter or Thanksgiving, because we host on those occasions, but that's different because we didn't invent them for ourselves. we throw an annual "Chrismukkah" party for all of our friends, and an "Opening Day" party for the first game of the baseball season.
-we enter things into the NJ state fair each year. hubs and i delight in getting our entries ready together, even though we enter different classes (i do baking, obvs, and he sticks with agriculture). then we get to go and put the entries in together and then come back on a date night so see how we did! it's really romantic and even a little competitive, although we don't compete against one another. 

the only real guidelines for your tradition are that it should mean something to you and it should be something that you can share with others. a good tradition will bring a family closer together and create awesome memories for years to come (i admit i think fondly of the prospect of stenni throwing opening day parties when she has a home of her own!). it should also be something that you can do every year (like Christmas carolling) or on a semi-regular basis (like a monthly game night). and it should be something that you enjoy! if you don't like it, it won't ever be a fun memory. so build a tradition with your family today!

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