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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Family Traditions - the Old and the New
Family Traditions – built on years of repetition and sentiment. Every family has them. Some of the most memorable ones are wrapped around the big holidays – Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Hannukah, and for Tim Burton fans - Halloween.
Does your family open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve or do you wait until morning? Who hands out the pressies? Is it, “Santa’s Elf” or “Mrs. Claus,” or an exhausted mom who didn’t sleep because she was more excited for Christmas morning than her children? (Just curious.) Does this person, not referring to any specific mom, wear a fluffy red hat with puffy white trim while passing around the gifts?
Much to my husband’s horror, I brought a few traditions with me in my tickle trunk of eccentricity, to our marriage. We Griffiths' delight in Christmas crackers, wearing our paper hats through dinner and into dessert. Every year Drew “accidentally” tears his, blaming his ginormous melon-sized cranium. Harrumph, we’re onto you, my sweets, we’re onto you.

My mom started one of my favourite traditions, for my brother and me, and Drew and I now do the same for our girls. We send them on a treasure hunt for gifts on their birthday morning, providing clues that lead them from one present to the next.
A few days ago, we sent my youngest, Sarah, on her hunt.  We’re always at the lake for her birthday,  so hiding her presents in our 600 sq. foot cottage, is quite a challenge.
And every year, our extended family drives the hour from Winnipeg, joining us for the sun, the lake and the mosquitoes. We like to share everything, here in Ponemah. It's tradition.

This year we were treated to a visit from my two American cousins, Liz and Lorraine. I haven’t seen either since the 1980’s. 30 years is a long time between visits and much has changed, but there was an instant family connection that makes me giddy just thinking about.
Over burgers, bright blue icing laden cupcakes, and wine we reminisced, agreeing that we can’t wait another 30 years to see each other again.
We vowed to keep in touch, updating each other with the goings on in our lives - building the newest Family Tradition - Staying Connected.
What are your oldest and dearest traditions?  Which ones would you prefer to dump?
Are there new traditions you’d like to test out?
Please post your comments below – I’d love to hear from you.
(And no, this is not my family. We can't jump that high.)


  1. We have a rule in our house that Santa doesn't wrap things and everything comes from the 'toy workshop' fully assembled without tags or packaging ........this has been challenging some years when one or both of us are either too sick, tired or too drunk to manage the assembly process(that toy gets postponed until the next birthday). On the other hand, we always wake up fully satisfied, knowing that, no matter what ungodly hour they decide is dawn, we can sit back and sip the coffee and film it all. There will be no need for battery installation or searching for the 800th twist tie to free Barbie's hair.
    We also have created some pretty elaborate Tooth Faerie routine involving trails of sparkles(at one point with footprints in them)which is not always observed. At the time we were so enthused but didn't do the math on 20 teeth in 3 mouths. The novelty has worn pretty thin.
    On a sadder note, we celebrate lost family members' birthdays by acknowledging their defining 'favourites' - favourite foods, music, memories. My kids love this since they used to have to wait until Christmas to have the secret family fudge....and now they know there's a chance they may get a taste of it in October.

  2. I love the tooth fairy tradition!

    Santa always sets up the Christmas presents in our house too, although he no longer brings Lego or Playmobil as the year he brought the Playmobil circus almost did us in.

    I think celebrating your lost family members is something to cherish and one I'll pose to Drew to adopt.