Family Traditions - Unique Gifter
CC Attribution - Ben Sutherland - Singing Lobster

Family Traditions

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[Photo – CC Attribution – Ben Sutherland]

A lobster stuffed animal?  What?  I will explain in a few minutes.

Families have a starting place, and so do family traditions.  Two people getting married may not yet think of themselves as a “family” but marriage is a big step along the path.  The new couple has the opportunity to craft their very own traditions and culture.  Each spouse might also bring with them some traditions that their family has passed along to them.  Gifts that form the basis of traditions, or encourage traditions can be very meaningful.  Here are a few family traditions that I inherited when I was married and some from my own family-

Christmas Eve Lobster Dinner

A tradition in part of my spouse’s family is to have a lobster dinner every Christmas Eve.  This is a pretty swell tradition and one that I can definitely support… even if my body does not agree, I think it is a great idea in principle.  My spouse’s cousin and her family gave us lobster picks, crackers and butter dishes as our wedding gift.  We asked for these things, hoping that a relative would give them to us, making them even more meaningful.

Though less rigorously held a tradition, my family likes to have a homemade Ukrainian dinner, with cabbage rolls, perogies and Ukrainian sausage.  Yum!  Frozen foods can’t hold a candle to homemade.

Family Calendar

I have now extended this tradition to my own family, and it is definitely worthy of its own post on another day.  My spouse’s family makes a calendar each year with pictures from the previous year, plus all of the birthdays, anniversaries and contact information for the family.

Holiday Feasts

My spouse is not 100% used to the idea of not eating turkey, but my family often makes more obscure meals for holidays.  We have not ventured as far as the tur-duck-en, however I have had cornish game hen, quail, crown rib roast, duck and I’m sure more things that I can’t think of right this second.


Other Traditions People Celebrate

Did you always get to open a gift on Christmas Eve?  Do you always receive a pair of PJs?  I always get a book at Easter.

The song “Old Tin Star” speaks of Christmas tree decorating traditions, perhaps you have some in your family?  My parent’s trees have a theme each year, some years that means a very non traditional tree!  For example, the times the tree has been a collection of deciduous tree branches painted gloss white with red balls and white lights.  Theme trees have only been around since my brother and I could be convinced we didn’t have to put every single ornament on the tree.

When you are writing your awesome wedding card and selecting your gift, I encourage you to share a tradition or to provide the things to pass along a family tradition of your own.  Another fun idea would be to include the following book, which has a whole host of tradition ideas!

The Joy of Family Traditions

Some Family Traditions for Homes of Two

Make your spouse breakfast in bed on their birthday.

Make your spouse their favourite meal for their birthday.

Celebrate your anniversary with your favourite bottle of wine.

Write your spouse a love letter each holiday.

Start a collection for your spouse and add to it each year.  Perhaps a new Christmas ornament?  A series of books that they love, perhaps.

Have a photo taken of you each year at the same time, attempt a recipe together, or say  a cutesy goodbye to every place you travel.


What traditions does your family have?

16 thoughts on “Family Traditions”

  1. When we go away on ''vacation'' (which can be a small as a planned day trip somewhere we don't often go) I buy a tree ornament as a reminder and each December when we decorate we remember or trip/good times. This year I wanted to (but didn't get around to) start a tradition at Thanksgiving of having a white tablecloth on the table and having everyone (in fabric pens) write what they're thankful for…and every year keep adding to it.

  2. In our home the girls get to open one present on Christmas Eve and it's always pajamas, usually flannel and Christmas themed. We also hide a (felt) pickle in the tree and whoever finds it on Christmas morning gets to open the first present.

    We were at your house for the crown rib roast! That was such an amazing and beautiful meal.

    1. Oh, the pickle thing! I've heard of that one as well, but not for awhile. We've had a few crown rib roasts, but haven't done that in years. Maybe we can request one this year?

  3. Jason @ WorkSaveLive

    Big thanks for linking to the giveaway! Just going through the entries to confirm people aren't getting free entries without actually doing as they said! :) haha Lots to go through!

  4. What a great post! I love the idea of creating new traditions – this is very relevant to my wife and I as we are approaching our 1 year anniversary. My tradition is to eat Haggis on Burns night and Turkey on Christmas day. My wife's family open presents on Christmas eve which is totally alien to me, but something i have learned to love!

  5. In my family, we have a tradition of creating a gingerbread house each Christmas afternoon. It's super fun and not too expensive!

  6. Jason @ WorkSaveLive

    My wife and I definitely need to start some family traditions. We've done our best to simply make our immediate family over the years during the holiday season, so we've really neglected doing anything ourselves. I think that will change when we have kids though.

    1. Yes, I think people make more conscious decisions about things like traditions when there are kids involved. However, there's nothing stopping us from starting some without kids :-)

  7. We don't celebrate Christmas, we celebrate Saint Nicholas on December 6th, who is apparently the ancestor of Santa Claus. This is great because you can go skiing at Christmas or to the other half of your family, without a conflict in schedule

  8. I love gifting

    What a wonderful idea Anne. I'm all for family traditions and this is fun way to take them forward.

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