Pocket Scrapbooking with Project Life

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small traditions


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!


10 Responses

  1. Sean says:

    We have a tradition of homemade pizza on Friday nights (with the occasion fast food option pizza on really crazy weeks), and “Breakfast for Dinner” on Mondays. The kids (now teenagers) really look forward to it. We also strive for the family prayer and scripture study together each night, but as you said, some nights are just crazy because of life. But we try.

  2. Katie says:

    Wendy – we also did best part of the day and worst part of the day when I was growing up. It’s a tradition I can’t wait to start with my own family soon (once my 5 month old son can talk!) I’m so happy to see other families do this too!

    I remember as a child thinking about what I would share all day. I definitely paid more attention to the small things during my day because I knew I would be asked about my day later. Not every day has a huge event, some days are just ordinary and you have to look closely for those moments. It’s a habit I continue to this day!

    And even though it didn’t hit me then, now, I realize how useful it must have been for my parents to get that insight. They knew if something wasn’t going well at school or with friends and could help, and they were able to celebrate achievements that my brother and I found important with us .

    What an awesome tradition!

  3. Brenda says:

    Every day when my husband gets home from work, we hug in the hallway by the door. Required. He just learned about “deep hugs” so those are integrated too. Dinner at home is almost always over Netflix — it’s quality bonding time *and* we get to geek out about our favorite shows together.

    My family started the tradition at Thanksgiving of throwing rolls down the table to one another and now we have to STOP ourselves from doing it when we’re out to dinner. (My mom + her siblings + their cousins who might as well be siblings + spouses and kids = 25 or so people so throwing is a MUST.)

    As a kid, my mom read the same book to me every night at bedtime and by 2, I had it memorized and started reading it back to her. I hope to institute something like that when I have kids.

  4. Andria Jones says:

    When I lived with two of my best girl friends, one of them had this thing where rainy days always made her crave Chinese food. So we made a sort-of tradition of it. Whenever it was rainy and gross, we’d order Chinese and have a cozy night in. I actually need to start this one back up, but I do often crave Chinese food when it rains!

  5. CatieP says:

    We have some traditions that I love – the big one is that my husband and I go to bed at different times but when the first of us goes to bed the other makes a point of going and snuggling for a bit. A “tuck-in” for the night of sorts.

  6. skrotbil says:

    My family started the tradition at Thanksgiving of throwing rolls down the table to one another and now we have to STOP ourselves from doing it when we’re out to dinner

  7. Ali Dunphy says:

    We eat our main evening meal together at table every day. My husband would have a,bedtime ritual with youngest chanting a rhyme they made up. Now shes 16 he has stopped ha! :( we are just starting movie nights out cus we have 2 for 1 movie vouchers but hope it will be the start of date nights x we take a guide dog for his free walk every sunday as a family of four. Then eldest worked sundays so stopped coming, youngest made excuses. Last few weeks its back to three of us as she now only works Saturday. Hoping youngest may rejoin too.