Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Traditions. Are you building them?

We went camping this past Labor Day weekend.  I'm missing the camping gene for the most part, or at the very least it's way way recessive.  However, it rises to the surface, or almost to the surface every Labor Day weekend. And that's because I've been camping every Labor Day weekend at the same place with pretty much the same people since I was five years old.  I missed one weekend while growing up on account of our family getting a new puppy.

And Georgia?  She's now been since she was five months old.  A tent and a five month old?  Good times.  We've since upgraded to borrowing my father-in-laws trailer and that's pretty much awesome.  Georgia loves camping on Labor Day weekend.  From Friday evening when we arrive to Monday morning when we leave she is covered in dirt, s'more residue, art project remnants, ash, and sugar.

And I love watching her love it.  Her loving it makes me love it a bit more.


That's how it is with traditions right?  When we see our kids eating them up it makes you realize why all the work of camping, and it's a lot of work, is worth it.  Traditions are so important to kids because they are the glue that seals the edges of a family bond.  Even simple traditions.

I heard a speaker this weekend that talked about his family taking full-moon walks every time they'd see one.  Full moons would remind him and his wife that their time with their kids was fleeting and they should take advantage of every one that they saw.  Their kids grew to love full-moon walks.  And it made me think about all of the traditions that we are building for Georgia.


We celebrate her adoption day without fail every December 17th. And we always will.
Georgia gets donuts from Van's pastries almost every Saturday morning with Chris.
We eat dinner at the table as a family at least three nights a week.
We decorate the Christmas tree together the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
We've gone to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan for the last two 4th of July's and we'll continue to do so.
We head to a cottage with my family every summer.

And there are probably a few more that I'm missing that are truly traditions.  But talking about them makes me want to build more.  Not huge extravagant crazy ones, but simple, meaningful ones.  Like breakfast for dinner one night a week, movie night, Christmas ornament making days, Valentines Day cookie decorating parties, back to school shopping day, and one that my friend Brooke started this year.....Christmas caroling parties.  

I think it's important to remember that traditions can be as simple as some are incredible.  And really, sometimes those are the ones that kids hold the most dear as they get older.  It's really just about choosing to be more purposeful when we decide what we're going to do with our kids and remembering that traditions give kids a solid foundation when it comes to the importance of family.

So camping on Labor Day has become a tradition for Georgia just like it was for me.  That kind of makes it a super-tradition doesn't it?  She loves it, so I'm loving it more and more and more.

What does she love about it?

Hayrides.


With great friends.


Especially her Owen. The first boy we ever let her go off in a car with.


Art projects.






This 150 ft. slide down a drainage tube.  It's freaking awesome.




I think she even loves the walk back up the hill from the slide.  We do it over and over.


Campfires.


Playing with my hair in the woods.......of course.


Gaga.  And the iPad.


And taking pictures.  Georgia took this picture on her own.  She's becoming quite the pro with my huge camera and I think this is pretty impressive don't you think?


So tell me.......what are some great traditions that you uphold that we could all adopt?  Simple ones, big ones, meaningful ones, and ones that are just fun and silly.

They're important.

33 comments:

  1. I love this post. I'm a tradition girl too - we have vacations we do each year and we try to carry on some traditions from our own childhoods. I think these provide kids with security, a sense of history and most importantly FUN! :)

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    1. Yes! A sense of history is a great way to put it!

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  2. This year I'm going to try to start a pumpkin carving party with our family. I'm going to send out invites and everything. On Christmas Eve we all get together at my husbands grandmas house and have a White Elephant exchange and the gifts we buy for them are all really silly useless things. It's a lot of fun.

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    1. Pumpkin carving party is a great idea--I love that idea!

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  3. We celebrate half birthdays!

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  4. Building traditions every day! Love your pictures.
    http://adoptionpi.blogspot.com/

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  5. Oooh I love it! We have lots of traditions too - we celebrate kiddo's adoption day on June 13th every year without fail. We have Nana and my sister in law and her family over on Christmas Day, Papa comes on Christmas Eve usually. Thanksgiving is a big affair with lots of people in our small house and tons of food and noise. This year we started a tradition with going camping with some dear friends over Labor Day, and it sounds like they will be our camping partners for years to come!

    I love traditions, and the "glue" they provide, as you noted.

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  6. Your photos are so gorgeous.

    The day after thanksgiving we go and get a real christmas tree and spend all day decorating said tree and house.
    Christmas morning we have Orange cinnamon buns.
    We eat dinner together at the table every night we are home.
    Bedtimes are for reading together.
    I am Australian so every January 26th we eat Australian foods and look at photos of our adventures to Australia.

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    1. What kinds of foods are strictly Australian? Do you have an amazing accent? So jealous!!

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  7. What started out as a Daughter and Dad birthday meal every year, because our Son was a very ill baby, has now become a tradition that the four of us go out for a birthday meal to celebrate each others birthdays. I love it, our Son always chooses a greasy spoon for a bacon and egg breakfast, our Daughter is normally a sushi girl sometimes its expensive, mostly just cheap and cheerful but its together time. We make a big deal of birthdays for the kids.
    I like to make sure everything is done for the 23rd of Dec, so that Christmas eve we go to the Matinee performance of our local Pantomime, which is a very English thing, it is fantastic and very hard to explain, we come home, via our local woods where we go get some Holly and Ivy and spend whats left of the afternoon making our door wreath and baking and decorating biscuits then we go to 10 o'clock Mass, and come home to our new pj's, tree bauble and drink our cocoa and biscuit then we leave Santa his milk etc. this is a mixture of His, Mine and now Our traditions from when we were kids. (when the kids were little, they were very tired after this and it meant we got a bit of a lie in on xmas morning, not now tho!!)
    We always go up to London for the day in the summer holidays to watch a show, although this year we went to the Paralympics instead and watched Team USA beat Team GB at Murderball. Crikey, I didn't realise how many things we do are now traditions.

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    1. Can I just say that walking through your local woods and getting some Holly and Ivy sounds like the most idyllic thing ever to do at Christmas? Right out of a story!

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  8. Hi friend! We need to chat! Feel like it's been forever! Looks like you had a marvelous weekend! So much fun! We have a lot of fun traditions and are trying to figure out some more fun ones! The color run is definitely a new one. I just need to get Nate in on it next year!

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  9. Hey Maggie, this speaks to my soul. I grew up with so many traditions and love them. One that my sisters and I have started two years ago is a Thanksgiving Day 5k. It feels good to run before we stuff ourselves even if it is the only time every year that I run.

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  10. Smiling...Nice reading, Maggie.

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  11. Such great traditions! Beautiful memories! :) Very sweet pictures!

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  12. This makes me think about what our family traditions are. It's funny, but there are some things that I don't think of as traditions, but my kids do. Like the fact that we usually go out for a special treat after parent/teacher conferences. We usually take the after-school time slot, so it makes sense to swing through the local bakery for a snack. Last spring, we met with my son's teacher and when we left, he said, "so we're going for our treat now, right?" It's funny what they think of vs. what I think of as traditions. I'm going to ask them tonight what our family traditions are and see what their answers are.

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  13. Love this post! Love your blog...so glad I found you, we adopted little miss "D" 15 months ago....we are just starting to build our traditions...and can't wait to make new ones all the time.

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  14. It looks like you guys had a great time camping! Where do you go?

    Being a military family, we have traditions that can move with us: Snickers - our elf on the shelf; celebrating wacky holidays - National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, International Mud Day, National Doughnut Day; going out for ice cream after shots....

    Visiting from SITS!

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  15. I am so excited because I was born in Oct and we always did fall/Halloween things for my birthday. Then Eli's birhmom went into labor Oct 30th and he just squeaked over onto being born on Halloween. So this year we are excited to continue the pumpkin patch tradition. We also want to start a new tradition of pajamas and a new book on christmas eve. This fourth of July we went to the resort town where eli's birth family lives. I think that would be a fun fourth of July tradition to continue...so many more! Labor day at our cabin, Christmas eve church, celebrating adoption day (we just finalized two weeks ago)- we can't wait to form more traditions!

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  16. Visiting from SITS...and thank you so much for the reminder of how important traditions are! Sometimes I feel like I am too busy...but it is so important.

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  17. I think traditions are so important. I love how you mention donuts on Saturday as well as weekend camping. The small traditions and the more complex - they are all wonderful. Very inspiring!

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  18. Thanks for bringing up the importance of traditions. I have tried to fit them into our lives but probably only have a couple of them. My daughter reminds me that she gets cake from Santa every Christmas (her choice!), we go to the beach every 4th of July, and have family movie night— which keeps growing since I have 14 kids ;-). (My daughter encouraged me to say that). Happy SITS day!

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  19. What wonderful traditions! We were just talking about our new tradition of spending Christmas Eve with our close friends and their kids. I get to read The Night Before Christmas at the end of the evening. So much fun!

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  20. {Melinda} I find that the small, almost unplanned traditions are the sweetest. The ones you don't set out making as a tradition, but the kids just end up loving it and so you find yourself doing it year after year. I love those. Those are the ones that bond us and create great memories. Love this post.

    Enjoy your SITS Day!! :)

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  21. Sometimes I find out from my girls about traditions I didn't know we had established. I hear, we always... A tradition is born. One of my favorite traditions started by our youngest who would ask someone the night before their birthday, how does it feel the last day of being 29? Now everyone gets a call or text the night before. Enjoy your SITS Day. Thank you for the post.

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  22. What great memories you are making!! We have family movie night most Fridays. The kids love Pajama Saturdays too. I love it when my daughter will tell someone about something we do as a family and call it a tradition; even though I never thought of it that way.

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  23. Based on my experience with camping I must say you are a brave soul! I think we'll take our little one camping at least once. Depends on how that goes, we may make it a tradition. Gosh. I better pray. Happy SITS day SITStah!

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    1. Eh. You could probably find something else to do other than camping........believe me....I do this under duress. :)

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  24. We are a family that loves traditions. My husband's family didn't have any traditions and that makes him want them even more. Our favorite tradition happens during Christmas. We all put on pjs, make hot chocolate, and then drive around and look at Christmas lights. It's so simple but we love it!

    Over from SITS.

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    1. Love traditions like that! So glad to have you stop by today!

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  25. This post made me smile. Happy SITS Day!

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  26. Love it! I am adopted and I can tell you that you have changed her life...forever!! You are an amazing mom! She is such a lucky little girl!!

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  27. I love this post. It really makes me think. Neither of our families have cool traditions but I swear every one in Michigan does (I live in Michigan too) and everyone goes camping. I would love to develop more traditions (full moon walks--awesome). We do have a lovely tradition involving advent. I will have to think about other ones....Happy SITS day. And since you have a daughter, if you haven't already checked out my blog Pruning Princesses, it is all about raising girls, complete with wisdom from other moms, crafts and cooking you an can do together, and books to read.

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