Monday, November 19, 2012


This post is a part of the PAIL monthly theme post. To read more about it, please click here.

The timing of this theme could not be more perfect--with the holidays right around the corner, traditions seem to be at the forefront of my mind. Being a parent is such a huge responsibility, and I definitely feel pressured to make good, lasting traditions for our growing family. I want to be diligent about planning out the holidays and making sure that our time together is spent meaningfully. And not because I want to be a perfect mom or the best mom or a Pin.terest worthy mom, I want to have good traditions because it's something I want to be able to give my children.

One tradition I want to have is to make birthdays a big deal. I was so sad when I met MBL because he couldn't remember how he spent his 30th birthday. I thought that was such a shame, birthdays should be special. Birthdays are the one day we get each year to feel really, truly special and celebrated. Plus, I love a good reason to eat cake, give presents, and have a party. My parents always did a great job of making each of us feel extra special on our birthdays. They didn't go crazy and buy us a million presents, but they made sure we were celebrated. We always got to pick the restaurant for dinner and my mom made us our favorite cake. And they always did a thoughtful job of picking out our big gift. I want to make sure that for my kids their birthday is always celebrated in a way that they will remember and treasure forever.

Another tradition I will continue is to have my children attend our big family Christmas party. My dad's family has been having a Christmas Eve party since the 1940's and I've attended every year I've been alive. I told MBL when we got married that I'm willing to compromise on a lot of things, but not on where we are spending Christmas Eve. It's really important to me that my children maintain relationships with their extended family and get the joy of experiencing a big, special, long standing Christmas tradition.

Along with the Christmas party tradition, another tradition I would like to start with my children will be the idea of giving to those less fortunate. I told MBL that every Christmas, I would like our kids to use some of their own money to buy a present for a child who doesn't have as much as they do. MBL thinks it's kind of mean to make them use their own money, but I think it teaches a valuable lesson about sacrificing for others, especially since my kids are likely to have everything they need. I probably won't start this tradition until the kids are a bit older and have a better grasp on giving/sharing.

When it comes to other holidays, the tradition I care about the most is just stressing the importance of being together. Family is so important and the memories that I build with my kids will be something they have with them forever. Things won't always go perfectly and every day life is bound to be full of ups and downs, but holidays and birthdays and special occasions are a chance for us to get together and celebrate the gift that is family. I know that sounds super cheesy, but as someone who fought like heck to have the family I have, I'm going to do everything I can to treasure the special moments that I have with them.

What are some traditions that are important to you? Are they new to your family or are they things your parents did with you?


  1. Hi from ICLW. We don't really have any traditions and birthday parties weren't memorable either.

  2. I'm looking forward to when our kids are old enough to really understand and enjoy traditions. Growing up, we didn't have much money but we always bought a Christmas present for a child less fortunate than we were and it made an impression. I plan to do the same thing with our kids. I'm also looking forward visiting a tree farm and cutting down a live tree with them (well, my husband will do the cutting part!).

    Visiting from ICLW

  3. It sounds as if you had some really nice traditions growing up which you can now pass on to your own family, along with introducing new ones. I like the idea of making birthdays a really special day because it is THEIR day, their one day all about them. A special cake and restaurant of their choice are both great ideas. Also, the idea of giving to the less fortunate is great at Christmas time. We always try to do that here in the Dominican Republic with those around us in need. Making the kids use their own money definitely helps them to realize the meaning of it instead of just thinking, oh this is easy because mom and dad pay.

    I love your main idea for all traditions... family and being together. That really is the most important thing! :)

  4. A Christmas party since the 1940s sounds AWESOME! And I am totally with you on having Christmas be a time where we can model helping those less fortunate, and hopefully this tradition will translate into a spirit of year-round giving and civic-mindedness.

    This is my first visit to your blog - glad you participated in the PAIL theme post this month!