Thursday, April 2, 2009

Making Family Memories - Yearly Traditions

One of my new favorite blogs is Heart(h) Management (thanks to the UBP 2009). Today, she posted about a meme sponsored by another new-to-me blog, Mt Hope Chronicles - Living Lovely With Family ~ Yearly Traditions. The creation of fun, simple traditions is near and dear to my heart, so I knew I had to join in.

Over the years we have developed a number of annual family traditions.

This first tradition is actually brand new one - but one that I hope we continue. Being the parents of three small children, it has been a number of years since we have gone to a New Year's Eve party - we prefer to bring in the New Year from the comfort of our own home.

However, this past year our oldest was on the verge of turning 7 and he was pretty excited about "ringing in" the New Year. So we decided to make our own little party, kid-style. We celebrated the New Year by having a "make-your-own-pizza and game night".

For the past few years, we have also made it a point to spend at least one day in the summer at a kid-friendly amusement park. Our favorite park so far is Idlewild, which is located in the mountains of Pennsylvania - it's very affordable, there are a ton of kiddie rides (and also rides for the big kids), and it even has an area just outside the park with lots of covered pavilions and picnic tables.

When fall arrives, our entire family looks forward to our annual trip to the pumpkin patch. Our favorite pumpkin farm offers a free tractor ride out the the pumpkin patch. Once we get there we each take our time choosing the perfect pumpkin (or gourd). After picking out our pumpkins, we head back to the main farm area where there is a small "petting zoo" area where we can check out a number of farm animals - close-up - always a hit with our kiddos.

Our most long-standing tradition is our Christmas Cookie Decorating Day ~ this year was our 9th year. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my mom joins us for a day of cookie baking and decorating. I've loved seeing how this day has changed as my kids have gotten older.

Our final tradition is one that was not planned, it just sort of happened. We are blessed to live near a Boyd's Bear Museum - and they happen to go "all out" when it comes to Christmas decorations; the kids are always awed by the two-story Christmas tree (and Mom & Dad, too). In past years, we've even been able to take a ride through the parking lot on a horse-drawn carriage (for free). Besides being a wonderful place to explore, it is also provides many perfect back-drops for those annual Christmas pictures :)

So how about you, what yearly traditions do you enjoy with your family?


Heidi said...

I'm so glad you decided to join in! It's nice to meet you. :) My oldest turned 7 *on* New Years. Makes for fun family parties. So far, we just do a celebration during the day on New Year's, but I'm looking forward to staying up on New Year's Eve when the kids get a little older... Levi was born just six minutes after midnight!

Ooooh! I would love to visit the Boyd's Bear Museum. I bet that was spectacular!

Thanks so much for sharing!

Heather said...

Wendi-- these are *great* traditions! I especially love your scheduled Cookie Day with your mom & kids... what a terrific way to kick off the Christmas season! And if I should ever make it a little farther north, I'll be sure to add the Boyd's Bear Museum to my to-do list; sound slike tons-o-fun!... thanks so much for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

These traditions are fantastic... I love being able to plan these kinds of things into our lives.


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