Back to Traditions

Back to the basics.

That is what September is all about for me.

Back to school, back to homework, back to making lunches. Back to routine essentially.

I like routine. I like structure. I like tradition.

I know sometimes routine is sometimes seen as boring. But I actually see routine as also building traditions and nothing gets me more excited than traditions.

My Mom announced this week that she was not coming for Christmas, rather she was going to spend it with my sister. I am happy for both of them – as they will have a nice time together (my sister is serving a service mission for our church out in Alberta and my Mom hasn’t seen her in 10 months).

I told the kids. They were a bit bummed. “We’ve never had a Christmas without Gran”. But I have to admit, it was also “What??? What about her baking!? What are we going to do? The fudge, the nanaimo bars, the date squares (although I can do without those. Yuck)???”…That really had us all spinnning. Everyone was upset that the tradition was going to be broken. Now we’ll need to make the “new traditions when Gran isn’t around” (and I’m sure she can UPS us some baking:)

But this weekend we got to bring back some traditions after the craziness of the summer….

Our “Family Vacation Binder” tradition:

We started this tradition after our first official family vacation: our Family Honeymoon in Jamaica and have continued it ever since. After each vacation we take, we all sit down to write and draw our best memories. These pages then get inserted into this special binder (clearly it is nothing fancy!). I usually get the job of summarizing everything we did in a page or two and make the title page. Rob does one of his amazing sketches, and the kids make the best drawings and write the cutest things. We always review past vacations as we insert the new pages, and are amazed at how the artistic talent has improved over the years!

The second tradition we got back to is our “Sunday Surprise Dinner”. Every second Sunday (when we are all together) one child gets to plan, cook and serve dinner with me. We look through cookbooks ahead of time and then shop and prep the meal together. I even bought aprons for us to wear when we were in Italy this year! The kids love it. They sometimes just pick something they want to learn to make, or sometimes it is their favorite dish. Often, it is a brand new recipe they want to try. We keep track of all the the “winner” recipes.

It was Zandra’s turn this week. We made “Mexican Lasagna” – instead of noodles, it was flour tortillas. There was meat, taco sauce, beans, corn, lots of cheese and served with a dollop of sour cream. It was quite tasty!

The kids were excited to get back to this tradition too. They were discussing what they would be making in the next few weeks.

And that is the beauty of traditions – the predictableness of something to come, something to look forward to, something to get excited about, and something to bond us all together. I love traditions:)


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