Klint and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary and while I feel like we are in that sweet spot where we know enough about each other, there are still some things that never fail to surprise me about him. One of those things is the differences in how our families celebrated holidays and special events, those traditions that help define our childhood. Klint’s family, while not half as broken as mine, didn’t really make a fuss about traditions. Holidays were celebrated but it was a more subtle celebration. My family, the very definition of crazy and broken, had a slew of traditions that accompanied every holiday and special event. Little things, big things, food, songs, and such. The first time I discovered how different we were in this respect I was really shocked, lol.
Now that we have children we are starting to define what our family traditions are, what we want our children to always remember about holidays and hope to pass down to their children. Some of these traditions come from my own family and some we created all on our own. I look forward to them, adore finding new traditions that fit our family, and love hearing the girls tell their friends about these special things. So I thought I would share some of them with you all, in case you are looking for some new traditions to add to this year! Enjoy! (Since there are so many holidays I am making this post a 2-part series, come back tomorrow for all the fall and winter holidays!)
- New Year’s Eve- Kids get to stay up until midnight, we make Shirley Temples and eat lots of party food. Noise makers, poppers, hats, crazy glasses, and pj’s are a must!
- New Year’s Day- We eat Chinese food, write down what we want to see, do, and accomplish this year. *We are starting a new tradition this year- we now have a memory jar to fill for the year with all the good things that happen throughout the year.
- Chinese New Year- We go to the celebrations in Chinatown, give the girls money in red envelopes, eat oranges, and make Chinese Lanterns.
- Valentine’s Day- Pretty standard stuff, everyone wear’s red, we give the girls some chocolate, I make pink hot cocoa and pink fudge.
- Carnaval- This will be a new one this year for us. We have been talking a lot about Carnaval thanks to the movie Rio, so it is a great way to kick it off. I plan on making a brightly colored breakfast of fruit and colored pancakes, everyone will dress up, we will listen to samba music, and throw confetti in celebration! *This year Carnaval is before Valentine’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day- This is one of our most celebrated holidays since Klint is mostly Irish and I have Irish from my maternal side. We always start the day off with trying to catch a leprechaun. Usually the wee devils cause havoc in some way like turning our milk green, peeing in the potty (and not flushing), turning furniture upside down, etc. The girls like to make a trap so that they can get the gold. with a traditional breakfast of rainbow pancakes. They are super easy to make, just make sure you use the gel food coloring for the super bright color. I usually make Rainbow Playdough Cookies, rainbow fruit salad, and lots of green food. If the weather is good we head to the parade downtown, but no matter what we don shirts from Old Navy, paint rainbows and shamrocks on our face, and do crafts- all while listening to Irish music! (This rainbow scarf was a HUGE hit with the two older girls, this year Moira gets one!) Whew!! Here are past photos of our holiday.
- Easter- Easter with kids is so much fun!! I love making up Easter baskets for each girl, trying to pick out fun things for baskets. Usually we forgo the candy in favor of outdoor items like chalk, bubbles, seeds and gardening supplies, jump ropes, etc. We do give one chocolate bar, but that’s about it. We color Easter eggs, eat Cadbury Easter Eggs (Klint’s ultimate favorite candy), have an Easter Egg lunch, and I make the girls fun tee’s like these from a few years ago!! Something new we did last year was bury jelly beans and then in the morning suckers grew in their place!
- Earth Day– Earth day is usually celebrated by going for a hike, picking up any litter that we see, talking about recycling and the importance of taking care of the animals. We make yummy “Love the Earth” cupcakes and watch “The Lorax”. Now that the girls are older we will probably plant some seeds indoors and such. =)
- Cinco de Mayo- I love Cinco de Mayo!! We make a taco bar, listen to all kinds of Mexican music, watch some of our favorite movies that take place in Mexico (Beverly Hills Chihuahua), drink “margaritas” (limade with salt on the rim, lol), and dress up in the colors of Mexico.
- Mother’s Day- Ah Mother’s Day! Usually we go out to eat somewhere I love, the girls make me cute jewelry and paint my nails, and generally everyone let’s me do what I want. No chores for Mom!
- Memorial Day- This is another fun one! We usually pack up a picnic and head to the beach with friends, it is the first “real” beach day of the season. We get ice cream, go kayaking, and spend the whole day outside playing in the sun!
- Father’s Day- We give Daddy some fun handmade presents, take him out for his favorite food, and let him do what he wants the whole day. Last year we made him a photo book, which the girls filled out with funny things like, “I love Daddy when________” answered with “he takes me shopping” =)
- Summer Solstice- This is another beach holiday. We go to the beach, build a fire, watch the sunset, and give thanks for such a long day. We have a cook out, drink mango smoothies, and eat corn bread to represent the sun.
- 4th of July- This fun festive day is usually celebrated with going to the parade, wearing new tee’s (from Old Navy, of course!), going to area activities, and a big cook out with friends. We have tons of sparklers and go see the fireworks! Of course I make red, white, and blue themed food and drinks. (If you want some ideas check out my Summer Loves Pinterest board!)
Whew!! Come back tomorrow for the rest of the year’s traditions and then again for our random traditions for birthday and such!!! (If you want a fun list of holidays around the world, here is a great calendar to check out!) Have a great night!