We were compensated for this post by Blickenstaff's as part of a campaign with The Mom It Forward Blogger Network and are thrilled to be working with them to share more about family traditions.
This is the time of the year when I always revisit our family traditions.
I don't know if it's the approaching holidays or the fact that the kids are back at school and I yearn for more time together.
Either way, I always have a goal of re-establishing some of our long standing traditions or creating new ones that fit our lifestyle.
Creating family traditions doesn't have to be any big, elaborate task. On the contrary, many of our most loved traditions came about because they are simple, enjoyable and stand out in some way.
Take our most recent tradition - I'm not a big fan of donuts (being the health nut that I am ;) however every Fall, we head to the local cider mill and enjoy a bag of cider donuts together. It's become a wonderful tradition and the kids begin to ask when we'll go as soon as September hits.
Why does this work as a tradition?
Well, it's something out-of-the-ordinary for us that we enjoy doing together and it doesn't take a lot of prep time (that's a big deal in our house).
The most important part about traditions -- that the family looks forward to doing it together!
Carving Out Time for Family Traditions
We have weekly traditions such as getting bagels on Sunday mornings, evening walks on school nights and dinners together as much as possible. But really, it's the traditions that happen on a less regular basis that seem to make a big impact on the kids.
And it's at these times that my husband and I are more likely to share stories of the family traditions we had while growing up -- which is super important to us since we live MILES away from the rest of our relatives. Sharing these stories helps the kids get to know more about their extended families when we can't all be together.
To give you an idea of some of our easy family traditions, here's a few of the seasonal activities we look forward to doing together:
Pancakes/waffles for Saturday breakfasts
Making homemade popcorn (in a pot! on the stove!) on our somewhat monthly family movie nights
Getting cider donuts at the local cider mill each Fall
Raking leaves (and tossing them around ;)
Going for family hikes
Gathering around a fire on a cool evening
Carving pumpkins the weekend before Halloween
Sharing read-aloud stories on school breaks
Watching a parade or two together
Baking (and eating) pizzelle cookies (a 5th generation tradition)
Decorating gingerbread cookies
Opening our first holiday gift on the last day of school
Putting up the lights in the backyard on Thanksgiving break (the kids design a new layout each year)
Getting ready for family to visit us during the holidays (All Hands on Deck for this!)
This month, I've also been honored to work with a company who believes in the power of family traditions and staying connected.
Blickenstaff's is a family-owned toy store in Utah. Blickenstaff's is a toy store that carries hundreds of toys, candy, and games (most that cannot be found in the "big-box" stores) and their goal is to help families connect around fun and simple traditions.
As part of their Family Traditions series, they asked me to write about one of our family kitchen traditions and I chose to share our Weekend Breakfasts tradition. It's special to me because I so enjoy baking for my family and really hope that I can pass that love down to my kids.
Blickenstaff's is currently sharing their idea of traditions via a Kickstarter project.
For the next two days, you can support their "More Connected Family" project by donating and receiving one of their family tradition kits as a way. They are offering a kit for birthday traditions, holiday activities, dinner converations and more! You can learn more from the video they shared about the project --
or get to know more about them at Blickenstaff's on Pinterest.
So as we approach the busy holiday season, be sure to carve out time, revive or create some of your own family traditions. Remember, they don't need to be big, elaborate activities -- just a way to enjoy time together as a family!
What favorite traditions do you enjoy with your family?