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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.
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.
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!
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?