Thursday, 26 November 2009

Creating and Enjoying Family Traditions and Memories

When you think of childhood memories, Christmas is probably a time you remember quite well. An annual celebration, excitement, family time and  traditions all serve to establish memories (hopefully fond!)

I remember helping my Dad wrap presents for my Mum on Christmas Eve, staying up late and going to midnight mass, leaving out a mince pie and a glass of sherry for Father Christmas and a carrot for Rudolph, waking up one Christmas Eve convinced I'd heard Santa's sleigh bells. As a family, we'd often play board games in the afternoon after the excitement of all the gifts had died down and would usually go for a walk for some well-needed fresh air and to stretch our legs.

My husband's family have some distinct culinary Christmas traditions. They always have French onion soup on Christmas Eve and duck for Christmas dinner. The duck tradition has a nice history dating back to his parents first Christmas together just weeks after they were married and while being far away from the extended family. My mother-in-law still has the hand-written recipe card where she wrote the duck recipe that had been memorised by her husband (the Christmas budget wasn't enough to buy the cookbook!).

In a very enjoyable and inspiring post on her blog Serene Journey, Sherri Kruger, mother of two, writes about her chosen theme for the Christmas holidays being to create great memories. She lists some ways she plans to do that and there are some lovely suggestions like having a tea party for the females in the family, enjoying a craft day with family or friends and hosting a movie night. It reminded me how fun it can be to create your own traditions, fun activities and memories as a family. (Read Sherri's post here).

As parents to young children, you have the opportunity to create your very own family traditions, experiences and memories that will bring happiness to all the family. It can be fun to think of what these might be or get ideas of something new to try. They might be particular activities you do all together or specific recipes you make and enjoy as a family. Often the simplest things give the greatest pleasure because it's the sharing and togetherness involved that gives a sense of family fun and will help form happy lasting memories.

What are some of your family traditions or special memories? If you have a very young baby, do you have ideas of things you want to do this Christmas to start a family tradition or a particular activity/meal you can all enjoy this Christmas and for those to come?
photo credit


  1. Those are some beautiful memories and a wonderful story. I hope we're instilling special memories for our girls. Christmas is a magical time for me and I hold onto my own family traditions very strongly. Gifts under the tree Xmas Eve and not before, note for Santa with cookies and milk, no one opens gifts until everyone is up... The only thing I do differently is meals. I'm a vegetarian now so our centerpiece is stuffed squash instead of turkey, and I make a special herbed gravy for the mashed potatoes.

  2. yes, yes, and yes. Our advent season is steeped in traditions, and as my children grow older, it warms my heart to no end to hear their excitement for the traditions-- not the gifts-- that come with the holiday season.


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