the value of traditions

Hi Friends!  Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?

We went to Dan’s aunt’s house and had 120 people (counting all the babies).  Crazy, right?  It is so much fun and very organized.  Each person is assigned what to bring.  Furniture is moved around, tables and chairs are everywhere and we eat on chinette plates with plastic silverware.  But it is the best buffet line imaginable, especially the dessert tables!

Afterward, Dan and I host an annual Thanksgiving game and shopping night with our older nieces and nephews (ages 13+).  This year, we welcomed two new nephews to our craziness as they finally hit the right age.  My mom takes my children for the night, so there is no need for being too quiet…which at 5am is an important thing!

The girls and I headed out shopping early.  The boys went out for an electronic sale.  Then when everyone was home, we played games to all hours of the night…errr, morning.  Let’s just say that I went to bed a little before 5am, but all the kids were still wide awake being silly (and sending me text/video messages from their sleeping bags in the family room).  Yes, I slept in my bed.  😉

Doing this every year, we have created great and lasting memories.  Memories of my then-16-year old niece skipping in the parking lot while shopping in the middle of the night (and we now make her do this every year . . . because it is TRADITION).

Memories of Dan taking the boys out to buy our first big TV resulting in 3 hours of waiting and bonding . . . and a truck smelling of boy-sweat.  And now, all electronics must be purchase by the boys . . . because it is TRADITION.

Memories of competitive games and the yearly Mexican Train Domino battle . . . because it is TRADITION.  

Are you now hearing the man singing ‘Tradition’ from Fiddler on the Roof?  This will be stuck in my head all day!

Traditions are fun.  Traditions are bonding.  Traditions create inside-jokes and memorable moments.  Images in our heads and smiles on our faces as we think back to earlier years.  In the last eight years, I have learned so much about my nieces and nephews over those long waits in line or crazy, competitive board games.  And though the next morning was a rough one (after all, I am far too old to stay up until 5am), this time with my nieces and nephews is a tradition I would not trade.

What are some of your favorite family traditions?