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Posts Tagged: "tradition"

A Single Rose | One Year Old Birthday Gift Tradition

- - $20 or Less, Birthday, Kids

First birthdays are a big deal, not for the child as much as it is for the parents or maybe I should say–mothers.

I was more than thrilled to celebrate my child’s first birthday! They are walking, chattering and making the cutest expressions. I watched him single-pink-rose-for-girl-first-birthday-thoughtful-gift-ideaopen (with some help) his gifts. I snapped pictures of him eating his cake and making a huge mess.

I was one proud mother! I wanted my son to have a “Happy 1st Birthday” so I could have pictures to cherish and share with him when he got older.

All of us moms understand the significance of birthdays. My son, Dustin, who is single and 33 years old doesn’t have a clue.

When Dustin’s best friend Jayson called to remind him that his daughter was having her one year old birthday party in an hour and asked if he was coming, Dustin said, “Yes, I’m on my way.”

He had forgotten all about it and hadn’t purchased a gift!

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A Letter to Your Child | Christmas Tradition

- - Birthday, Christmas

I started a new Christmas tradition in my family by writing a letter to my child.

Life moves at lightning speed, and each year I want to take the time to stop, reflect and remember all of my child’s happy moments full of fun, love and laughter by writing about them in a letter.

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This Christmas gift idea will be cherished far more than any wrapped present under the tree.

I must admit, the whole process intimidated me at first.

How am I supposed to cram a whole year’s worth of stuff into a single letter? I don’t have time to write pages and pages! What should I focus on if I can’t write about everything?

I stopped freaking out when I thought – KISS. Keep It Super Simple.

Focus on the cake and worry about the frosting and sprinkles later. If all I end up with is cake, it will still be awesome and better than nothing. (That just popped into my head. I’ve never thought of comparing a letter to a cake before… It must be because I haven’t eaten dinner yet… even though it’s almost 8:30 p.m.!)

So I came up with the basic ingredients for a letter to a child:

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Record Your Own Read-Along Story Book for Children

One of my favorite books as a child was The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. After reading it, I hugged my favorite stuffed animal even harder so that it too would become Real.

The Velveteen Rabbit book and a stuffed bunny

Pick your favorite childhood story, record yourself reading it, and give the book and the recording as a gift to a child. Pair it with a matching toy or stuffed animal if you can.

When threads on it started to come loose, I grew excited because I knew I was getting it even closer to the day the nursery magic Fairy would turn it into Real.

The Velveteen Rabbit is a timeless story about the power of love and the bond that forms between a child and his favorite toy. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve realized that it’s also a story about loving someone for who they are and not how they look and about being real to yourself and to others.

I bought a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit for each my sister’s three daughters, J’menii, Jeah and Jozlyn, so I could share this amazing story with them. On the inside page of each of their books, I wrote:

Always be real to yourself and to others because God made you one-of-a-kind. Continue Reading

Breaking the Turkey Wishbones | Thanksgiving Tradition

- - $20 or Less, Experiences

If I close my eyes, I can still remember Grandma’s house and the delicious aroma of Thanksgiving dinner filtering from her tiny kitchen. Like so many other families, every year there was discussion of who would be the lucky two people to break the turkey wishbone.

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Queen Darlene & Jody making a wish!

It was a big event at the end of the meal to watch who would win the biggest part of the bone and declare a wish!

I had no idea of why we did this ritual of breaking the wishbone, so for this post I researched it. Did you know that the Thanksgiving tradition of breaking a wishbone dates back over 2,400 years?

The Etruscan people believed that fowl could predict the future and the chicken’s collarbone was thought to be sacred. Seriously?!?! Wishes were made by rubbing on the bones in hopes of bringing good luck. (Maybe I should try this on my next lotto ticket purchase). Thus, the “wishbone tradition” began. Continue Reading

Like Father Like Son | Rain Gauge for Birthday Gift

Why would anyone want a rain gauge? You can Google the rain fall in your area to find out. Do you want to know the answer? It’s because we become our parents.

My husband, Randy, is just like his dad. He talks, walks, thinks and laughs just like him. So it is no wonder he likes the same things as his dad. I just didn’t see it coming!

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Click to enlarge

When we first started dating, Randy’s great sense of humor attracted me! His mother is funny too so I thought he got his sense of humor from her but through the years I saw glimpses of my father-in-law’s humor. Looks like Randy got it from both of his parents!

Randy’s dad was a “thinker.” He would mull around on a problem for as long as it takes and when he figured it out in his mind, he would fix the problem. Once! That’s it – no do overs.

When we were younger, it would drive the entire family crazy because some of his projects took so long to complete but in the end it was done perfectly. These are the things I see in Randy. He’s a thinker too.

Randy’s dad became our family’s weatherman since he followed the weather and would tell us how much it had rained by using his E-Z Read Jumbo Rain-Gauge
. Continue Reading

Nighttime Easter Egg Hunt With Flashlights

- - Experiences, Family, Kids

I grew up in the 50s and 60s with the traditional Easter egg hunts at our church or in the backyard. My mother would hide the real eggs that my two brothers and I had decorated. (At the time, there was no such thing as the plastic eggs with treats.) We loved to hunt for Easter eggs and could do so for hours!

Nighttime Easter Egg HuntIf the weather did not cooperate, we would hide the eggs in the house. Mother always made us count the eggs to be sure we had them all. I remember not being able to find one egg for about a week. We eventually realized it had fallen behind my bedroom dresser. I can still remember that hold-your nose-awful-smell of that rotten egg! PHEW!

I followed the same tradition of Easter egg hunts with my children. I’d hide real and plastic eggs throughout the backyard and inside the house and my children never tired of  searching for them.

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Socks and Underwear for Christmas | Family Traditions

My grandparents never forgot the Great Depression. Granddaddy talked about not having “one red cent!” Everything was bartered. They traded farm-raised pigs, cattle, chickens and what they grew in their garden for sugar, flour and other necessities. Necessities were all they thought about. There was never any money leftover for extras.

Christmas Socks Gift IdeaEven as their lives improved after the Great Depression ended, my grandparents never stopped being frugal with their money. It was a way of life. They purchased a home and paid it off in five years. (Unheard of these days!)

They purchased new cars every three to five years with a note to pay them off in a year. Everything else was paid in cash and what they did buy was always very modest. Like I said, no extras. Not even for their grandchildren.

You always knew what they were getting you for your birthday and Christmas – socks and underwear. What kid looks forward to that?? At the time, we just didn’t understand where they were coming from.

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Refillable Advent Calendar | Christmas Family Tradition

- - Christmas, Experiences, Kids

Something I’ve learned about myself. I enjoy starting family traditions. Years before my husband Kevin and I even started our family, I already had several family traditions on stand-by.

One of them was a refillable advent calendar. I wanted to be able to customize the treats inside for my family each year. Plus, advent calendars started as a German tradition and since Kevin’s side of the family (their last name is Jaeger) is from Germany, it seemed like a perfect fit! It’s also a fun way for the entire family to count down the days until Christmas Day.

Refillable Advent Calendar GiftI bought a wooden advent calendar with larger compartments so I had more flexibility with the size of my treats. I specifically picked this one though because it shows the Nativity Scene – a wonderful reminder of what Christmas is supposed to be about.

For treats, I like to include a variety of edible treats, small gifts, quotes and family activities. The activities I write down on cute paper.

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An Aloha Christmas | A Surprise Family Vacation

Our family tradition is to open presents on Christmas Eve. But in 1998, we opened gifts a few days earlier. We told our children there were family members going out of town, and they would not be here for Christmas. Luckily, they did not ask which family members because it was US!

For weeks, I had shopped for summer clothes in the winter. Not an easy feat trying to find bathing suits because Internet shopping wasn’t really a thing yet back then.

Hawaii Family Vacation Gift

My sons parasailing over the ocean.

I purchased brand new suitcases for my two boys and packed shorts, t-shirts, snorkel gear, beach towels and sunscreen. On top of that, I placed what I wanted my children to first see – brochures and airline tickets of where we were going to be on Christmas Day!

That evening at my in-laws, we did the usual holiday ritual of eating, visiting and opening gifts. We had our children open their gifts from us last. When they opened their presents and found suitcases containing clothes, they were puzzled. The look in their eyes said, “Uh, what’s this? Clothes? Really?”

We all know 17 and 13 year old boys hate getting clothes of any kind. For any occasion.

I couldn’t believe they missed the brochures of beaches and surfers!

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