Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Silly Family Traditions

Christmas is known to be a great time for families. Everyone is feeling full of love and the wonder of the season.  Gifts are exchanged and lots of food gets eaten.  Christmas is also a time for Traditions.  There are certain things our family does the same way every year.  Frances is the keeper of Traditions in our house.  She is always blurting out, "Hey Mommy, are we going to _________ like we did last year?? That was so fun!"  Or telling Henry, "Mommy and Daddy always do _________ after Christmas. It's a Tradition."  Sometimes she remembers things that I didn't put much stock in.  Like this year when I {thankfully} overheard her reminding Henry that "Santa always puts coal gum in our stockings!"  Guess who had forgotten the coal gum?!?!  I found some coal chocolate at CVS on Christmas Eve, and apparently that was good enough.

All these Traditions with a capital T got me to thinking about all the little-t traditions in our house.  The funny, little things that we do in our house that other people probably don't understand.  I wrote about one last March, when I told the story of the "I Love You" sign that the kids and I use.  It still happens on a daily basis. Benjamin has gotten much better at putting up the correct fingers, and he's also taken the lead from his brother to turn his hand over afterwards and shoot webs at me "like Spiderman."

I love you
I Love You

Friday night pizza and a movie night is another tradition in our home.  I'm not sure exactly how we came to have pizza every Friday night, but it's a night when Ken is typically not home, so I can get away with a more kid-centered meal.  We've had candy cane or Christmas Tree shaped pizzas, personal pizzas on nights we are ahead of schedule and all in a good mood, a few store bought or delivered pizzas, and even a few guests for Friday night pizza night.

Christmas Tree pizza

Another kitchen tradition that always makes me laugh is this one: I'm sure many moms are used to cooking with little ones underfoot or in and out with questions and requests.  One things that always keeps them in the kitchen is opening a new jar of olives, a jar of pickles, or a bag of pepperonis.  Inevitably, when I open one of those things, one of the kids will ask, "Mommy? Are those fresh?" with a devious little twinkle in their eye.  The question itself typically brings siblings to the kitchen who now all want to know: "Is it fresh?"  What they are really asking for is a taste.  We have to taste the olives to make sure they are fresh.  Sometimes we have to each taste a few!  Kids who come in the kitchen asking for "a taste" of something are rarely rewarded, but add a mischievous twinkle in the eyes and change the question to "Is it fresh?" and they will almost always get what they want: a bite of food, a hug and a smile.

Somehow, my kids also got hooked on stealing cars.  Not for real!!  I don't honestly remember, but I think it's safe to bet that this one started with a sarcastic remark from me.  Something along the lines of one of the kids asking where our van was and me replying that I had no idea, "but this one looks good, so let's take it instead!"  For some reason now, the quickest and most efficient way to get the kids into the van is to tell them it's not our van.  "Quick kids we have to hurry before the owners come out and see us stealing their van!!"  They scramble to get inside and giggle while they are buckling.  Then I have to peek out the back window carefully to make sure we aren't being followed and take off (not really, I promise) out of the parking lot.  They love "stealing" cars!!  It was even more fun after we got our new van.  My mother and I have the exact same van, so for a while it really did feel like we were stealing someone else's car.  Until we personalized it of course.  And by that, I mean we made our own mess inside the van so that no one would ever mistake it for Grandma's!

This one is ours.  At least I'm pretty sure it is. I have no idea why I took this picture!!
The last one I'm including is also something I've mentioned before, but I think it really fits in on this list. Sundays after church are my typical grocery-shopping time.  Especially this year because Frances and Henry are at Sunday school and I've just got Ben with me.  It's almost enjoyable to shop with just one kid!!  After going through the produce section, we head over to the deli.  For a while, I was trying to select a variety of meats and cheese for our weekly sandwiches, but somehow they all got stuck on Colby-Jack cheese.  Or as Ben calls it "Bowby Jack."  Now every Sunday we have to go to the deli counter and order a pound of Colby-Jack.  Did you know that a lot of grocery delis give out cookies to kids?  Mine don't know, because they only ever ask for cheese! After the deli workers have measured out our cheese, they slice out one more slice for each kid with me and hand them over.  We don't even ask any more because all three of the main deli workers in our grocery store know what to do!  And this past Sunday I didn't even have to order the cheese, because Benjamin walked right up to the deli counter and yelled, "A pound of bowby jack, pwease!"

These aren't typically the things I would think of when someone asks me about our family traditions, but they are certainly part of our family and I will miss them when the kids stop signing "I love you" or checking the freshness of our olives, or stealing vans (please don't let them ever start actually stealing vans!), or eating Bowby Jack cheese at the Food Lion deli.

Does your family have any silly family traditions?

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