"Tradition! Tradition!"

Doesn't "Fiddler On the Roof" come to mind everytime you hear that word?

Traditions are good. When I was growing up, we had lots of traditions: birthdays, Christmas, family devotions, Easter, etc. Some of them I let fade into my memory, others I continued, and some I added to our own family.

Since I already posted about my memories of birthdays , I'll skip that part in this post.

Merging two family's tradtions is always tricky in a new marriage. My husband always watched Saturday morning cartoons. (I didn't have a TV while growing up; we read books together in the evenings.) My husband didn't usually eat at the table. (We always did.) There were different ways of cooking things, different types of humor, different traditions.

We used some of his and some of mine, but I wanted to start some of our own.

I knew a large family that had a big party for their children every 5 years. The other years were just celebrated with their parents and siblings, but, at ages 5, 10, and 15, they could invite friends. I thought that would be nice.

It started out well. We invited a few Sunday School and neighborhood playmates for the 5th birthdays of my older children. When they turned 10, they could have a sleep-over, and that went well for awhile. But... one year, Caleb turned 10, Stephen turned 5, and I was due with Abel...all within a few weeks of each other. Caleb got a sleep-over, but poor Stephen didn't get his first party until he turned seven.

Every birthday child/person got a choice of their favorite supper and dessert. (within reason) Caleb once wanted lobster (since we couldn't afford it and he hadn't tasted it yet) We still couldn't afford it, so we bought a whole box of live crabs, and wrapped the box as a present.

Sometimes, I made a fancy decorated cake, (usually the years of the parties)but more often than not, the candles are poked in a flat cake or a pie or maybe a block of ice cream. The person with the next birthday had the job of lighting the candles. Most of the time, there were as many candles as years, but sometimes we bought special ones or used a votive candle or whatever we could find! The diningroom light is turned off and the glowing cake is escorted to the table with a variety of renditions of "Happy Birthday". (We know about 3-4 different kinds.) If my mother is there, she leads us in singing "Sweeter as the Years Go By".

My kids loved treasure hunt presents. I'd hide notes all over the neighborhood (or house, in the winter) with clues to the next note until they found their big present. (usually something that was hard to wrap)

We've had tea parties and beach parties and camping parties and even ice skating parties. With eight children, there was never a lack of ideas. With all of them grown, there's a lull in the excitement over birthdays, but the grandchildren are coming and I'm sure things will get lively again.

I could go on and on about our various family traditions, but I'll save them for some other times.

I just realized that I missed the first birthday of my blog. I started last year on June 20th. Last Saturday, it would have been one year old. My 400th post will be coming up in a couple months, so I'll do something special then.

For more interesting memory stories, visit Lynette's Walk Down Memory Lane . Be sure to leave a comment.


Denise said...

I enjoyed this.

Anonymous said...

This was a fun read! The scavenger hunts sounded
exciting! Sunny

Anonymous said...

Treasure hunts. (excuse me). Smile Sunny

Lynnette Kraft said...

Happy Blog Birthday! Wow almost 400 posts! You're a busy beaver.

Yes, I always think of Fiddler on the Roof when the word tradition comes up. I think traditions are fun. My hubby and I have made some fun traditions with our children.

Thanks for sharing today.

Holly said...

Hey your blog bday is on my bday!! Woohoo!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Hey Vonnie, thanks so much for visiting me at the blog! I love your thoughts on tradition. After parenting for 20 years, I try and institute a few traditions into our family lifestyle. We have kids in two different generations, so it is sometimes difficult to do all I want to do, but it takes intention and forethought and lots of willingness to "go with the flow." Sometimes I get so stuck in my own agenda rather than allowing for some compromise.

I also love your idea of answering questions here. I'll think of something to ask and get back with you!



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