Family Traditions – The Ties That Bind

Lisa LaGrou

Family traditions are the ties that bind my family together and make us the tight-knit family that we are. Every once in a while, usually when life is movingĀ at a million miles per hour, I cognitively freeze a moment in time and reflect on our families traditions and experiences.

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When it happens, I’m actually able to visualize my kids’ faces from years ago. I could be enjoying a nice family meal and look at my daughter and see her as 4 years old as opposed to her current 10 year old self. It makes me realize how special even the most insignificant family traditions are.

I stood back the other day and had a moment of appreciation when I observed how these little traditions keep us happy and close. We have family traditions that I’m guessing are common for many families, yet still treasured. I’ll list a few…

Family Traditions

Vacations – We visit the Petoskey / Harbor Springs area every summer. My husband and I have offered up different (even more expensive out of state) locations as a substitute… to absolutely no avail. My kids even love visiting our favorite Up North haunts every season. I thought they’d begin to outgrow some but our 8 year summer vacation in Petoskey tradition is solid!

Dinner With The Simpsons – I’m willing to bet we eat at home as a family more than most people I know. Our bad habit is recording Simpsons episodes and watching them while we eat. I’m thankful there are more than 550 episodes as we’ve rarely had a repeat!

New Year’s Eve Family Feast – New Year’s Eve is a time for us to reflect on the year passed, and look forward to the year ahead. A way for us to celebrate it is giving everyone their choice of what they want to eat during the celebration. We usually spend the entire day cooking and end up with a very large spread of everyone’s favorite dishes! We pick at it all day long while we play board games by the fireplace until it’s time to watch the ball drop. The kids are also reaching the ages where we can sit there and talk about resolutions and what we want to do differently in the year to come. It’s truly special.

Bed Time – Ever since the day they were born, we’ve always tucked our kids in bed good night. Even now that they are 12 and 10, we go into their room once they’ve gotten into bed, fix their sheets all cozy, and give them a kiss on the forehead and a great big bear hug good night. It’s topped off with an “I love you” and “Sleep well”! I don’t want these moments to ever end. No matter how big they get and how long they live in this home, we will tuck them in every night because that is how we show that no matter what happened in the day’s time, they can always count on comfort, security, our love.

I know MY family traditions might not seem necessarily unique or special, but I’m amazed at how strongly they’ve held through the years. Each passing year brings me close to the realization that the four of us in my family won’t be eating at the same dinner table or taking the same summer vacations forever. I know it’ll be a dark day when my future teenagers aren’t necessarily fired up to spend a week in Petoskey with their folks! But, I’m quite sure their family traditions we’re enjoying now will remain with them (and my husband and I) until I’m no longer here.

Our family traditions are the ties that bind us. I enjoy and appreciate them every day that passes.