Do you have any?
"Traditions create memories.
Traditions help impart our life values to our children.
Traditions help give children a sense of identity.
Traditions help to create a sense of belonging.
Traditions offer a sense of security."
What beautiful thoughts!!!
Let's never underestimate the power of simple family traditions!
They are gifts of comfort we can give to our families!
If you happen to be young and newly married, perhaps you're thinking, "Do we have any traditions that are cultivating these emotions?"
Don't worry! You probably do! (And by the way, they will strengthen and get richer as the years go on! *smile)
The best family traditions are the ones that you just sort of settle into. You will bring a little from your background, and your spouse will bring a little from his... and over time they will meld together to make your family culture ~ Your family traditions.
We have a few Thanksgiving traditions in our family...
We've made homemade monkey bread every Thanksgiving morning since our oldest was a toddler.
The kids love to roll and dip the dough...
While it's baking, we make sausage and eggs, then sit down to a perfect Thanksgiving morning!
Yes, it'll be a wonderful Thanksgiving! I just know it!
"I will enter His gates with Thanksgiving in my heart. I will enter His courts with praise!" Psalm 100:4
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It is calm and mild out here at our farmhouse...
And once we're dressed and the sweet potatoes have baked, we load up our family car and drive over to Grandma and Grandpa's, where the turkey and the cousins are calling our name!
"Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go....."
~ We are SO blessed! ~
(This isn't even all of us. There were other family members that joined us that are not pictured here. We kind of had to take pictures in shifts.)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"At the heart of every Family Tradition is a meaningful experience."
The kids played so well together! They danced and laughed... and even performed a piano recital for us! Hopefully it'll be the start of a brand new tradition!
"There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy. When they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie...."
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever." Psalm 136:1
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
On the morning after thanksgiving, we drive to the most wonderful tree farm to find and cut the perfect Christmas tree.
Have you ever done this?
Oh, you should! It is the most wonderful way to find a tree!
Make sure to bundle up!
I would rather be here doing this than in Black Friday traffic and lines!!!
Right behind my head is our tree!
"Family traditions counter alienation. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world." ~Susan Lieberman
We actually brought home two trees! (Which I plan to show you in an upcoming post!) After hunting them down and loading them up, we were ready for a hot chocolate break...
To top it all off, we got to say "hello" to Comet and Cupid before heading home...
What a lovely day!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
While old traditions are comforting and reassuring, it's sometimes fun to create new traditions, too!
A sweet friend of mine came up with the idea to go see The Nutcracker ballet on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
What a wonderful idea it was!
My daughter Nola has been in ballet since she was three, so she came along, too!
Here we are all dressed up to go...
"It's not about DOING MORE... It's about making choices, fostering creativity, and building family connection." ~Jean Van't Hul
An extra, special treat was finding out that Nola's ballet instructor was performing in it!
We sure had fun looking for her on stage and watching her dance!
We were even able to find her after the show to tell her, "Well done!"...
And to give her this mini rose bush with a hug...
(By the way, as a side note, the pink stuffed fox that you've been seeing in these pictures is Nola's pet, Joey. She's convinced she's real and takes very good care of her! And I make no attempt to try to convince her otherwise! I believe in letting children have their innocence and imagination for as long as possible!)
Nola told me while we were watching the show, that she felt inspired to get back to dance class!
Of course, if you know me and my history with dance, this is music to my ears!!!
I could tell she was thoroughly enthralled for the entire 2-hour long show!
"You are the books you read, the shows you watch, the music you listen to, the people you spend time with, the conversations you engage in. Chose wisely what you feed your mind." ~David Wolfe
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
As I sit here typing on this Sunday night, I realize our wonderful, extra-long, holiday weekend is coming to a close....
Our hearts and tummies are full...
On our minds, still fresh, are the memories made...
And our home is beginning to look a lot like...
Well.... I'll save that for next time, friends.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ Courtney ~