Can I just say how excited I am for this family traditions blog post? When I do Q&As on Instagram, I often get asked what family traditions I'd like to incorporate with Eleanor and our future kids - and the truth is, I don't know! I know I'd like to have her grow up with traditions, but wasn't sure exactly what. I LOVED reading through the traditions that made your childhood feel like magic. Charlie and I read through every single one of these and had such fun conversations about ones we'd like to incorporate for our family - I hope you have fun doing the same! If I left yours out, feel free to leave a comment, as I think we could all use inspiration here when it comes to family traditions!
Holiday Family Traditions
New Year's Eve/New Year's Day
- "We do fondue on New Year's Eve!"
- "NYE - pajamas and Indian food at home playing games with friends."
- "Chinese food on NYE."
- "Breakfast for dinner on New Year's Day."
- "On Christmas Eve, we decorate a small tree outside and sing Christmas songs."
- "Elves bringing us pajamas and a small gift (usually a book) every Christmas Eve."
- "Every trip/new place we visit, we always get a Christmas ornament. That way, we had a new ornament every year with a memory from that year!
- "Christmas Eve right before bed, we sprinkle 'reindeer food' in the yard."
- "Every year, my dad and I go Christmas shopping together for my mom and go out to a nice dinner."
- "Christmas Eve: my mom made homemade manicotti, church, got new PJs and opened one gift."
- "Small Lego set in our Christmas stocking. We can't wake mom and dad/open gifts until they're built!"
- "Christmas Eve we do new PJs and an ornament. My mom started that tradition so when we moved out or got married, we got a box of ornaments."
- "We do a gift an hour on Christmas to enjoy each gift and spread the fun all day!"
- "My dad reads The Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve."
- "Built a gingerbread house at Christmas and brought it to a nursing home for a resident without family."
- "Progressive Christmas Eve block party!"
- "Cinnamon rolls Christmas morning."
- "Christmas Eve breakfast at Waffle House. Leave the waiter a $100 cash tip when you go!"
- "Pizza on Christmas Eve around the tree with music playing!"
- "On Christmas Eve, we would all pile into the biggest family car and go look at the lights."
- "Taking kids Christmas shopping for each other. Open sibling gifts Christmas Eve to celebrate each other!"
- "The night BEFORE Christmas Eve, the kids all sleep together under the Christmas tree."
- "My family rents out a Christmas cabin every December. We play board games, bake cookies, watch Christmas movies."
- "Having a Star Wars movie marathon on Christmas Day when we were little."
- "Christmas breakfast on fancy dishes but everyone wearing pajamas."
- "On Christmas, we do a big breakfast but kids always help make waffles while Home Alone plays in the back."
- "Rudolph present on the end of your bed for when you wake up Christmas morning. Genius for parents to sleep!"
- "Chinese food while we wrap Christmas presents and Chick Fil A on Thanksgiving."
- "We throw Jesus a birthday party on Christmas - cake, decorations, you name it!"
- "We play minute to win it game Christmas night!"
- "Every year, first thing Christmas morning - pictures on the stairs in matching PJs!"
- "Pie for breakfast on Thanksgiving!"
- "Thanksgiving morning we have 'breakfast in the forest' in the yard. Pumpkin pie on the menu!"
- "Thanksgiving Eve we made our own 'turkeys' - just chickens - and tore bread on a sheet in the living room for the stuffing while watching movies!"
- "Gingerbread house making competition on Thanksgiving!"
- "Family bingo on Thanksgiving night. Prizes could get stolen like dirty Santa!"
- "Cinnamon rolls and Parade watching in bed on Thanksgiving morning!"
- "Exchanging Christmas ornaments after Thanksgiving dinner."
- "The day after Thanksgiving, me and my dad would hang the outdoor Christmas lights while my mom made chicken pot pie."
- "The day before Thanksgiving is a pie party. We have pizza and everyone makes a pie!"
- "We went to Disney on Ice the day after Thanksgiving every year!"
- "For Hanukkah, my parents would hide our presents every night so we'd search the house for them!"
- "For Hanukkah, my parents laid all of the presents out and each night I got to pick one for my brother to open and he picked one for me to open!"
- "On Halloween, my mom makes chili every year and all of my cousins bring their kids to eat and trick-or-treat."
- "Hocus Pocus on Halloween with hot chocolate while eating the candy and sorting through it!"
- "Making homemade pizza on Halloween and taking it trick or treating for snacks on the way!"
- "We read Green Eggs & Ham on Easter."
- "We would go to the zoo on Easter! Loved that as a kid."
- "Homemade Hot Cross Buns for Easter."
- "Valentine's Day - fondue with the kids, candlelight, play romantic music."
- "Valentine's Day is Chinese food on the couch in PJs and a Netflix movie."
- "Special gifts from my mom on Valentine's Day. One of three daughters and I always LOVED it!"
Fourth of July
- "Every 4th of July we watch National Treasure!"
- "Drink-themed competition on holidays!"
- "Champagne every holiday morning - sparkling juice for the kids!"
Weekend Family Traditions
- "Friday night family pizza every single Friday. Set out a blanket and we would watch a movie."
- "Friday nights = breakfast for dinner in pajamas. Almost 20 years strong on this one!!"
- "Ice Cream Sundays. We ate them out of ice cream bowls kids made at a pottery studio when they were little. My best friend and her husband also take their daughter out for ice cream every Sunday."
- "Sunday brunch. My dad would walk us to the restaurant so my mom got a chance to get ready."
- "We do Sunday movie nights. Chicken nuggets and fries in front of a movie."
- "Friday was movie night and junk food for dinner. We'd have queso, Cheetos, cookies, etc.!"
- "We do pancakes every single Saturday morning - my husband makes them. FAVORITE part of the week!"
- "Every Friday during the school year when I pick my son up from school, I bring him his favorite drink (lemonade/hot chocolate)."
- "Screen-free Friday night dinner out - everyone gets a chance to pick the restaurant!"
Birthday Family Traditions
- "Donut breakfast cake for birthdays (a bunch of donuts stacked with a candle)."
- "Waking up to streamers in my doorway and balloons filling the living room on my birthday."
- "My family would wake me up with birthday presents in my bed on my birthday."
- "My husband and I take off every year on our son's birthday and have a special day with the three of us!"
- "Our chair at the table would be decorated with balloons and streamers for our birthday."
- "I always snap a picture of them tucked into bed the night before their birthday, the last time I tuck them in as that age. It's more of a memory for me." (I'm not crying, you are!)
- "Half a cake on your half birthday! Bake one round cake and cut it in half to make a two layer "half" cake."
- "For birthdays, we always read the book 'On the Night You Were Born' - even 13 years later!"
- "Birthday cake pancakes on their birthday morning! You can find a recipe on Pinterest."
- "Breakfast with Mom and Dad every birthday (no siblings go). Still do it 32 years later!"
- "Breakfast in bed on our birthdays on a breakfast tray! We did the same for Mother's Day and Father's Day."
- "Birthday signs! Every year, our mom would make decorative signs and hang them all over the house. When we woke up, we would walk around finding all of them!"
- "Once we turned 10, birthday parties couldn't have gifts, but had to have donations for a charity."
- "On our birthdays, my mom would take us out of school and to lunch! I loved this tradition."
Seasonal Family Traditions
- "Early morning coffee/donuts on the beach and kid pictures in the lifeguard stand during vacation."
- "My dad used to make eggs Benedict every time it snowed. One time he woke me up the day after Christmas saying 'it snowed!' I couldn't see it and thought he was crazy. Came downstairs to eggs Benny."
- "Summer traditions - 'Super Saturday' on the beach. Pick a date, everyone comes, we order pizza and stay until it's pitch black outside."
- "We go apple picking every September and make a day of it."
- "Last day of summer was always DIY ice cream sundaes."
- Each month of summer: mini weekend getaway (camping, rent lake cabin, hotel staycation)."
- "Taking a family photo for my husband's phone background on vacation for 20 years in a row!"
- "In the summer we do s'more Thursdays! My oldest son suggested it and it's so fun to have something to look forward to each week in the summer."
- "My Grandma held a pumpkin-carving day every fall with homemade donuts! She also held a Valentine's Day cookie-decorating party every year with pre-baked cookies and all the toppings."
- "A summer fun list to check off - older kids still talk about it!"
- "Get together at my grandma's house for the 'summer birthdays' and have a giant water balloon fight!"
- "'Summer Fairy' on the last day of school with summer fun toys and a summer bucket list!"
- "Croc-tober party. Everyone wears crocs (even the kids) and brings a crockpot dish to pass!"
- "Fall Funday! The last Saturday in September we go apple picking, make a fall-inspired drink of the day, make something with our apples, make appetizers, and watch football."
- "Tacos on the beach for the first beach trip of each vacation, ice cream on the way home."
Miscellaneous Family Traditions
- "Our girls have a 'sleepover' and watch a movie every Friday night. It's so special to them!"
- "Ice cream at the neighborhood ice cream shop on the first and last day of school!"
- "Candy forest! On hikes, my mom would sneak ahead and 'plant' candy around the trail."
- "Saturday night burgers - goes back to my dad's childhood. Lost my Dad in 2019 so this is a way to honor him."
- "Every day at dinner, your 'pit' and your 'peak' of the day - plus something you learned!"
- "Homemade ice cream at big family events. Still do it!"
- "We always go out for late night pancakes after any of my kids' performances."
- "We played guess the animal at dinner as a family. Yes or no questions only. So fun!"
- "Any time my parents went on a date night, my dad took the kids out for fast food before they went. Looking back, it was probably so my mom could get ready :)"
- "My mom would make a turkey the night before the first day of school so we would sleep!!"
- "Letting them 'skip' a day of school every year and getting to choose how we spent the day."
- "First day of school as a kid each year - mom would take PTO and we'd come home to cookies and share stories."
- "Homemade pizza once a month growing up. We used cookie cutters for fun designs!"
- "Ice cream for dinner on the last day of school!"
- "Ice cream when we brought home report cards!"
- "New book for vacation for everyone!"
- "When my kids were little, we did "Friday Junior" picnics in the living room on Thursday nights."
- "Oh! The Places You'll Go" sent to school each year for my teachers to sign for my boys. I'll give it to them at their high school graduation."
Did I leave any family traditions out? Did you read some here that you want to incorporate? Leave a comment and share yours so we can all get some inspiration!