I love thinking back on my childhood. I was blessed with attentive parents who made sure life was full and fun. Of course, the things I remember the most are our family traditions: the things we did regularly, or once every year on special occasions. Now with my own kids, I’m starting new traditions and hoping they will remember their childhood with joy, too!
When my brother and I were in elementary school, Friday was “FFC Day.” After school, my mom would take us for french fries and cokes! In the fall, we always went to the same pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins, have hot apple cider, and guess the weight of the biggest pumpkin grown that year.
In the summers, we spent every morning on the beach. In the winters, we “snow”suited up and played outside.
Having family traditions helps kids to establish their identity and creates a strong bond among family members. I want to provide my kids with those same blessings, so it’s important to me that we have our own family traditions.
Making family traditions doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, you probably already have some without even trying. Traditions tend to grow naturally out of the things you love to do. Or you can choose to carry on traditions that you grew up with.
Some of our traditions include Food Truck Friday, summers in Maine, pumpkin patch before Halloween, and acting out the nativity story on Christmas Eve. I also carried over the tradition, from my family, of exchanging sibling gifts on Christmas Eve. After the success of our summer reading program, I think that will be a yearly tradition for us as well!
Then there are family nights. We aren’t great about being consistent with having family nights on a regular schedule, but we do spend a lot of time together, and we love being together and doing things as a family. Some of my favorite evenings are the ones where we pile in the car at the last minute and go out for an adventure and a meal!
I am a Denny’s Ambassador, and as such have been compensated for this post. We have a love for Denny’s, and it’s no surprise that we often end up there on those nights when we are out for an adventure! After all, kids eat free on certain nights!
It’s nice to go out to eat, knowing that everyone will be happy. Daniel gets the nachos and maybe a burger, I often go for breakfast (all day!) like French toast, and the kids have a huge menu of main dish and side choices!
Denny’s is one restaurant that offers a free meal on your birthday, so we often head there on our birthdays, for a free grand slam!
When I was in high school, we had a tradition in the theatre department that after a play performance, everyone would go out to Denny’s! Since they are open all night long, you could do a late-night tradition. I’m sure the kids would be thrilled to have a special night where they got to stay up late and then go out to eat!
I know that when they are grown up, my kids will look back and remember the things we did regularly, as well as the things that were unusual or out-of-the-blue. So as a parent, I make it a priority to have regular family traditions, with the occasional spur-of-the-moment adventure! That way our family life will be fun, comforting, and uniquely ours!