Traditions are naturally and obviously associated with holidays, birthdays, and special occasions. Today is a seemingly ordinary day smack-dab in the middle of April, but I’ve got traditions on the brain.
The older I get, the more I appreciate how much traditions have an impact on my life — and yours. Traditions become part of us. They are woven deeply into our life experiences, and they can be a grounding force that keeps us centered in the most beautiful way. What “small traditions” do you enjoy in your life? If nothing comes to mind immediately, I’m sure that reading through what’s shared in today’s post will jog your memory.
I’ll kick things off, then share some favorite small traditions from our team and share a whole bunch from our customers / readers / community.
a few of my favorite small traditions
Each night we pray together as a family (don’t be fooled; we miss plenty of nights because of you-name-it, but we definitely try!) and each night we enjoy a few minutes of one-on-one or two-on-one with each child — chatting, scratching their back, singing a song, rubbing stuff in their feet to heal cracking skin… okay, I’m getting too detailed. Each morning as I drive the kids and a couple of our carpool friends to school, I usually have some sort of mini pep talk about kindness, hard work, focus, manners, making new friends, etc.
On a weekly basis, David and I have a date night, we attend church as a family on Sunday, Fridays include a verbal expression of “TGIF!” and donuts. Every time we hike this one specific hike, we take a group selfie in the same spot. Every time we leave Flagstaff (it’s a couple hours north of Phoenix and significantly cooler so we visit often), we always pull away with the windows down and literally breathe in that fresh, pine air. These are daily things. Little things. But special things in our family’s culture.
traditions shared by our team
In Kari’s words: “Years ago our family started going to a local restaurant in California with my parents every time we were in town visiting them. They no longer live there, but each time we go to California (for regular Disney trips) we continue to stop at Maxcy’s Grill and order the same meals we would order when they were with us. We all look forward to it!”
Wendy said, “We try to sit down together at the table for dinner a few nights a week. When we do, there are no electronics allowed and we play HIGH / LOW. We go around the table and each person says the BEST thing about their day and the WORST thing that happened during the day. This simple tradition has sparked some great family discussions and we learn things about our children we would have never known.”
Toni loves girl time in the bathroom. Her daughters get ready for the day in her bathroom and years ago she told them that they could feel free to ask her absolutely anything during that time. This small tradition has helped to keep the lines of communication completely open with her and her girls!
One of Laurie’s family traditions is donuts. When Jeremy (her husband) is working the night shift, it gets a little hard on their family. They feel like they don’t see him during the days that he works. Awhile back, he started bringing home donuts after his last shift for the week. It is kind of a mini celebration that they get to see him again!
In his own words Race shares, “It started out as a joke right at the start of our marriage. Anytime my wife or I say the words “bum squeeze,” in any location, at any time, the other person is obliged to reach over and pinch your bum. It turned into a tradition when we realized that neither of us would back down. In front of our parents? On Christmas morning? In an important family photo? In the middle of our worst fights? When we don’t know how to break the silence? This little tradition, fueled in part by our mutual stubbornness, means that my wife and I both know we can absolutely depend on each other to uphold our longest running tradition, no matter what.”
Kara loves her family tradition of “Pig Out Night.” She muses, “It was something that my father coined and started when we were kids and it was his way of ending the work week and kicking off the weekend. We gathered anything and everything we wanted every Friday night — no official dinner — and snacked and laughed and watched a movie as a family. Some of my best memories of my dad are those nights. We have carried this tradition on with our kids and it truly is one evening a week that we all look forward to – we get to wind down from our crazy week and enjoy each other.”
Molly has one tradition that has happened every single day for almost 6 years! From the day her almost 6 year-old daughter, Mia, was born, Molly has sung “You Are My Sunshine” to her. A few years ago it became even more special when Mia started helping to sing it; now they go back and forth singing parts of it every night before bed. Even if Molly is traveling or not home, she will sneak away for a few minutes to sing to Mia over the phone. They both look forward to this special moment every night!
Traditions shared by some of YOU!
We have pizza night / movie night every Friday night. We’ve been doing it for 18 years. Our kids still look forward to it each week and even change plans so they don’t miss it. @karinavanorman
Treating my two girls and myself to Starbucks every Saturday morning. (Coffee for me and pastries for them). @momofjajbb
A new personal tradition I started this year is that I write one thing I’m grateful for in a journal each night before I go to sleep. A lot of them aren’t anything major, but I’m still grateful for them. @katrina418
At bedtime my husband kisses his pointer finger and then touches each of our kids on the forehead. He tells them it’s their mark against evil as he does it. @karinavanorman
Homemade chocolate chip cookies and milk made by my hubby every Sunday evening. During those exhausting years with small children, it was our dinner! @karinavanorman
Watching The Andy Griffith Show on Sunday evenings after church. @lilrosi
My kids love our “weekend cereal” tradition. After having porridge/toast, eggs, etc. for the week, they are excited on Friday evening to find out what cereal full of sugar I have bought them (Weetos, Sugar Puffs, etc.). The excitement hasn’t waned, even after 2 years, bless them. @emnani
Family Home Evening! It is seriously my little girls’ favorite thing to have a gospel lesson, sing songs, and then eat ice cream! They are always asking if it’s Monday! @ash_mikell
“Family Appreciations” — Every Sunday night we each take a turn standing on our family coffee table and everyone tells that person what they appreciate about them from that week and what we are grateful for them contributing to our family. Then we cheer for that person! It takes about 30 minutes total, but the love that is felt and expressed is so thick in the room afterwards. It also is great when we are having a hard time seeing what someone is bringing to the table in our family and many times it has softened my heart and allowed me to have Christlike love. @nataliepostl
Pillow talk every night after scripture study and prayers with my husband. I love this time, especially with our busy schedules. @nrasmuson
Right now, my mom and I are both taking classes (at different colleges). On Tuesday, we happen to be in the same town around the same time. So each week we meet at this old diner and have coffee and talk until we have to part ways again. It’s one of my favorite parts of the week! @tlr1013
Saturday night is restaurant night. We can eat there or do take out, but it’s the one meal of the week that we all always eat together. Bedtime for the kids used to include reading stories, but they read to themselves now. I’ve replaced that with a few minutes of one-on-one conversation with each of them. @rach3975
Every Friday morning we have donuts. :) @banana__hannah
Every Thursday afternoon is girls lunch! It’s wonderful for a few mommas to get together while the older kids are at school and we only have the wee babes. Mom time is much appreciated! @lace_face08
I didn’t want summer to be boring and normal if we weren’t on vacation, so I started “Fun Friday.” Every Friday in the summer we do something extra fun. A hike, mini golf, a movie at the theater, sleeping outside under the stars…. Just something different! @angustia17
Up until our youngest left for college this past fall, my husband made waffles from-scratch for the kids for breakfast every school morning! It started as an encouragement for our oldest after early morning seminary, and he kept it up for the next 14 years! Gold stars to him! @ktich
My husband and I enjoy a cup of tea together in the afternoon when we both get home. It’s our little unwind tradition every day. @fionahmmoore
My husband and I do a nice candlelight dinner while listening to the “Welcome to Night Vale” podcast once a week. We have a board game night once a month and a movie night (at home) once a month. Also, we take a weekend yoga class together and get lattes after. Best part? Almost every one of these traditions was his idea. @summonyourspark
I rub essential oil on my 13 year-old’s feet and then give him a foot rub with coconut oil. Sometimes he will let me scratch his back, too. I ask him questions about his day — favorite and least favorite moment or something along those lines. It’s a good way to connect at the end of the day. Kim Wall Hacking
We’ve recently started a new part of our bedtime routine with the kids in an attempt to tire them out a bit more. It’s become really fun and something I’d like our kids to remember about their childhood. We’ve been turning on YouTube to a music video with dancing in it and teaching the kids how to do the dance. My two year old can almost do the cupid shuffle without reminders and it’s only been about a week. Cassandra Bixby
Dinner at the table. At least one “date night” a week, 15 minutes a night of “me” time and doing something just for fun — even if it’s as simple as sitting on the porch looking at the stars. Dawn Salisbury
We hope this has inspired you to start / continue / appreciate your own traditions with those you love!