Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tell Me Hank...

With another weighty religious holiday on the horizon, I've been thinking about family traditions and rituals.  One of my favorite traditions growing up was our Christmas tree.  We would tromp through the snow (we always tromped, never trudged, walked, scampered, or anything else - always tromping) and cut down a likely looking fellow, drag it home, then after decorating we'd have pizza under the tree.  Since we weren't the type to order pizza on any old lazy Friday night and food had to stay in the kitchen (and dinner at the kitchen table), this was something special indeed.

Another tradition was the annual "first day of school" picture in front of the front door.  Each picture was charmingly different - we got taller, lost teeth, gained teeth, got a new front door, and eventually moved to a new front door.

Birthdays, as I've started my own family, have been a pretty big deal for us.  The birthday crown has been a family favorite amongst the younger crowd, and picking the place for an out-to-eat birthday dinner that night is always fun.

Growing up, a smaller ritual, the bedtime song.

A new ritual that I'm pleased to see emerging since we've moved to the new house is the Friday night bonfire.  The last month or so, even before the snow was off the ground, we've been cooking Friday night dinner out in the fire pit.  Weenies when we're feeling lazy, hobo dinner when we're feeling slightly more ambitious.  About as easy as ordering pizza or nuking something and way more fun.

When we started the baby and I mostly stayed in the house, because she was kind of a hassle to wrangle when there was snow on the ground.  The last few weeks though, she's been enjoying this as much as anyone.

Maybe enjoying herself a little TOO much...

Just kidding!  This isn't Applebees after all.  So tell me, what are some of your favorite family traditions and rituals?  What are some of your newer ones?

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