Papa Bear

The Top 10 Family Traditions that I Want To Start

I am a creature of habit. I prefer structure to spontaneity. That has changed as I have gotten older. It used to be I looked forward to not knowing what joys the day might bring. Now, I enjoy coffee and me time in the mornings, working from home, lunch with Alex and Savannah, relieving Alex and spending my afternoons with Savannah playing, dinner time, Savannah’s nighttime routine, and finally some spontaneity in our evening. I was just telling Alex last week how much I enjoy sticking to a routine and how I have really had to adjust to Savannah’s schedule. Her routine has sort of changed every 3-6 weeks in some way ever since she was born. Learning the ever-changing routine and getting out of my comfort zone has really been the bright spot of what has otherwise been a really weird year. I know I said I am a creature of habit, but all the little adjustments that Alex and I make for Sav help us develop with her, help us grow as parents, and become the memories that we cherish.

This week I wanted to share with our readers the top family traditions that I want to start. My family had a LOT of traditions that were really important to me growing up. There were probably a lot more than I can even remember. Most of them remind me of the holidays and then there were a couple random ones that stick out in my mind. I remember every once in a great while, we would get to eat ice cream Sundays for dinner on a Friday evening or something like that. You’d probably have to check with my mom and dad to know for sure. The big ones were Christmas morning, my parents would stay up real late, us kids would wake up real early, we would open presents and then visit while eating a fun breakfast together. I loved visiting, putting on a new outfit as we got ready to visit the grandparents. I remember watching football on Thanksgiving and laughing at those that couldn’t fight off the food coma.

Traditions are exciting, especially as a kid! Certain events would almost become like legendary in my own mind. I want to help create memories like that with my family. This list is just a guess of what our traditions will actually become. A lot of the time they happen naturally, and you can’t really plan it. One time our family got snowed in and nobody could leave. We ended up playing the board game Clue every night for a week and today we try to play that game every year. It wasn’t planned and I think that is what makes it so special. We might end up with none of these and twenty others that are amazing in their own way. Until then, here is the list that I came up with today and will probably give a little bit of a push to get started!

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Top 10 Family Traditions

  1. Local Coffee on Vacation

One of my favorite memories from Alex’s and I’s minimoon to Savannah, GA was a morning trip to The Coffee Fox. I remember the coffee was amazing and the food was great too. Even though I was way cheaper back then than I am today, we still got a $15 coffee mug souvenir. I love that mug, it always reminds me of the fun little memory. In Rapid City, SD, we did two local coffee shop mornings with Sav. I loved seeing her in the little highchair. She did so good! I would love to support local businesses and spend some quality time having coffee and treats in the morning while on vacation. It’s so easy to get in a rush and feel like you have to get going to see all the things, but this one is about stopping to enjoy the beans.

2. Daddy Daughter Date Night

Obviously, I really enjoy spending time with Sav and I want to make a tradition of doing a daddy daughter date night. Giving someone your time is one of the best gifts a person can give. This one is so exciting to me, I am curious what her personality will be and what she will want to do with our time. Maybe she will be a foodie and she’ll want to go try really obscure restaurants, or maybe she will really love people watching or going on weird adventures or treasure hunts! I cannot wait.

3. Scary Movie October Nights

Alex and I both LOVE scary movies! I like the “who done it“ slasher films and she loves the supernatural conjuring type ones. Back when she worked at the movie theater and way after when we got all those free passes, we went to a LOT of scary movies. I saw all the bad ones. Now, with all of the streaming services, we have started to bounce around looking for scary movies during the month of October. It has started to become a tradition all on its own. I actually haven’t seen a lot of the classic’s ether. I’ve never seen The Shining or The Birds, The Evil Dead, or any of the Freddy movies. Last year we went through the Halloween series for the first time and I loved it. My favorite ones are the Scream movies – I actually watched Scream 2 first when I was 10 years old and staying the night with my aunt and uncle. I was hooked for life!

4. Halloween Costume Party

Okay – so Halloween is probably my favorite holiday… okay, it’s probably tied with Christmas. With Halloween, it’s the eerie feel and orneriness that I love! With Christmas, it’s the month and a half long activities that come along with it. Alex and I have hosted numerous Halloween parties and I would love to continue hosting more. This year will be the first year with Sav. I’m not sure if we will be able to have one this year. Of course, there is COVID to think about among other things. It’s definitely a possibility, but even if we have to wait to get this one rolling, eventually, I would LOVE there to be an annual Halloween Costume Party! Alex and I love dressing up, we typically do couple costumes and I’m sure this year will be no different. We will have our first family costume. I can’t wait to see how cute Sav looks!

5. Hallmark Movie Holiday Season

This one is really Alex’s thing. Her and her sister love watching those cheesy Hallmark movies during the holiday season. They basically start switching into “Holiday” mode the day after Halloween and they add a Hallmark steaming channel so they can watch endless love stories all day long. After about three years of this, I have seen a few of them too. Honestly, they have a very warm and fuzzy feel to them and they make my wife really happy. It is fun for me too since we usually have them on in the background and we hang out eating unhealthy treats and drinking hot chocolate. I don’t necessarily love the movies, but I do love all the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years holiday activities. These movies have really become a staple and I hope they continue for a long time.

6. Christmas Morning

Christmas morning is one of the most special times of the year for me because of all the traditions. As a kid, I can remember being beyond excited on Christmas eve for the thrill of waking up on Christmas morning. I think there is a scene in Home Alone 2 where they all wake up and do Christmas in a hotel together. I was five years old when that movie came out. I’m pretty confident, that was the year I came downstairs and I had a big red bunk bed frame present! To me, it was this unimaginable thing, it was so big. The mattress wasn’t on it yet so I could climb around through the bars. Later when that became my bed, I hung a sheet down to make a dark room for me to sleep inside. That is really the first memory that sticks out in my mind that makes me eager for Christmas morning every year. I wonder if I looked at pictures of the years before that if I could remember.

The magic of Christmas morning never wore off for me. I had three younger siblings and I have always, even to this day, enjoyed watching them enjoy Christmas morning, hoping it was exciting for them as it has been for me. The credit goes to my parents and double points for mom. There is just so much planning that goes into that one day. So much time and effort to make it special for everyone. Then would eat a fun breakfast and just enjoy spending time with each other. The day leads into a big family event. Alex and I want to make sure we give those special warm and fuzzy feels to Savannah as well.

7. Easter Egg Hunt

As you can see, I really enjoy the holidays. Hard boiling the eggs, painting them, then going around the house in the morning to find them, it’s just the best. Maybe every family does this, I guess I have just always assumed that everyone’s does. I would love to make it outdoors and do something fun with it too, but no matter what, I’m going to make sure little Sav looks for an egg or two every Easter!

8. Weekly Walks

Alex and I have been trying to fit in a walk or two every week and it’s a nice way to spend time with Savannah, but also to get in some time for us to visit. During the week, I am busy working and Alex is taking care of Savannah, then I take over with Savannah and Alex has a little me time. Then it’s dinner, Savannah’s bath time, then her bedtime. The day can get away from us and we have started to realize that we need to make time for each other. We may be at home all day together and not really have a great chance to talk. We bring coffee on our walk and look at the fun houses in our neighborhood and Savannah typically falls asleep halfway through the walk. I would love to make an effort to at least get one walk in a week!

9. Fireplace, Firepit, Campfires

Our house has a fireplace that burns real wood. That sounds so funny to say “real wood,” but I mean it’s not fake! Anyway, we love enjoying a fire in the winter months. We both love campfires and telling scary stories. Alex has started to say she wants to build a firepit in our backyard. My parents have one and it’s pretty cute. They live in the country and I’m not even sure if we are allowed to have something like that in town. It is definitely a possibility and it could be a lot of fun!

10. Bedtime Stories

I have been trying to make sure starting a little library for Savannah and reading to her at some point during the day or week has been a thing. It’s had it’s ups and downs. Savannah loves playing with her board books. She doesn’t necessarily like sitting on my lap and listening to me read to her anymore. She did when she was a couple months old and she was asleep while I read out loud! Today, she starts to squirm and would clearly rather play with the book. And that’s okay. We will go through the phases together. I would love it if she gets to a place where she loves reading together at night. Like, I want that moment when I am tired or have a lot going on and Savy runs up to me and asks me to read with her before bed and I just put my things off so I can go read her to sleep.

Wrap Up

What do you think? Do you agree with me? Tell me in the comments below. I hope these ideas can help spark an idea for you and your family. I thought of so many more as I was making this, but I really wanted to try and keep the list to just 10.  Please let Alex and I know your experience with your kids. We would love to hear about your family traditions. If you have any good or maybe emotional experiences, please reach out to us on social media. We would love to hear your stories! Also, if there is a topic you would like us to cover, let us know and we will try to do that for you. Thank you for reading and happy parenting!