Creating Family Traditions (April Fool’s Day, St. Patty’s Day and More)

I have been looking for ways to create family traditions for our own little family unit, especially now that Benji is older. It’s definitely true that traditions are part of what define a family, so I wanted ours to be fun and throughout the year, instead of just at Christmastime.

This kicked off for us this year with Valentine’s Day. Though Benjamin he only three, I wanted him to enjoy the “hand made” feel of real Valentine’s, so we took a shortcut and made a heart template from cardboard together that I used to cut up some of his prodigious quantity of random art papers into Valentine’s hearts that we gave to his class. He really got excited about it.

Next up was St. Patrick’s Day. Though we always wear green, let’s face it, if there was ever a holiday tailor-made for a family of redheads, St. Patty’s Day is it. So instead of letting Nick talk me out of going downtown to an Irish pub for St. Patrick’s Day dinner and a pint (the whole fam), I dug my heels in and it was super fun. We all got Shepard’s Pie at BD Riley’s on 6th Street (the pub even made a special tiny pie for Benjamin) and Nick enjoyed a Guinness (and I a hard cider) while we all listened to Irish music in a bustling room full of green-costumed revelers. It was silly but perfect. The next day when Benjamin woke up, he asked me if it was still St. Patrick’s Day; when I had to tell him it wasn’t, he actually burst into tears. Though I felt sad that he was sad and hugged on him to console him, I also couldn’t help but feel a bit of holiday-celebration triumph. He really loved that holiday!

So when April Fool’s Day presented itself, I tried to think of a few fun things to do to get the fam into the spirit. I made sure to warn Benji the night before that tomorrow was April Fool’s Day and that some silly things might happen, so he needed to keep on his toes. The next morning, I tried to trick him with cereal bowl I had put in the freezer the night before and by telling him that flamingos were our “bird of the month” for our birdcall calendar. He thought they were both hilarious (toddlers apparently not being particularly discerning comics) and even attempted to pull one over on me by putting some underwear on his head and a life jacket over his clothes and telling me he was “ready for school.”

broken-lcdAt work, I put this screensaver on a co-worker’s computer (which totally worked! I had to help her get it back off later to show her computer did work) and tried to help my boss (unsuccessfully) prank his teenage sons. It was silly but fun to actually try to celebrate the day, even if in small ways. I am bummed I forgot the kitchen sprayer rubber band thing for Nick, but there’s always next year!

Memorial Day is on its way; I think we are going to start trying to take a family portrait (or several) every Memorial Day weekend. Seems like a nice tradition to start.

What are some fun traditions or events that your family celebrates?


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