Unique Traditions

(I thought this was the best place for this topic since it’s about parenting, but since I’m not a mom/don’t plan to be one for a few years, let me know if it needs to be moved!)

What are some unique or special memories from your childhood that you want to make a tradition with your kids? There’s one in particular I really want to pass along to my own kids one day. When I was little, I would write notes to fairies and put them in the toad houses. The “fairies” (my mom, unbeknownst to me at the time) would leave their reply in the same place, usually written on a pink paper heart. Sometimes there would be confetti or tiny, fairy sized gifts (detailed dollhouse miniatures or tiny fake toads, the kinds of things you’d find at a [name_u]Michael[/name_u]’s Crafts). We’d talk regularly about the animals in the garden that we’d named. [name_f]My[/name_f] best friend got in on it too and was always eager to mail the fairies when she came over. [name_f]My[/name_f] mom still has all of the notes saved.

I absolutely want my mom to do this again if I have kids. It was so magical, perhaps my favorite childhood memory. I believed in it much more than [name_f]Santa[/name_f] and it felt more special.

So my question to you is do you have any traditions unique to your family, that perhaps you or your parents started?


So I don’t know if these are unique or not but these are some things we do in my family:

Deck cleaning day. Usually around memorial day me, my sister, and our dad go out to clean the deck: scrub it, power wash it, clean the space underneath, etc. We always have a lot of fun though we are really sore, tired, dirty, and wet afterwards!

Daddy-daughter days. We have some Saturdays reserved for us and our dad to go to a park or museum or something together. It’s fun!

We always open one and only one present on [name_u]Christmas[/name_u] eve

My sister and I alternate years of birthday parties with friends. [name_f]My[/name_f] parents sort of forgot about that the past few years and I didn’t get to have one for a little while but we got back into it.

When me and my sister did our Mensa book lists,our whole family would read the book together out loud, alternating chapters(like I read the first, my mom read the second, my dad read the third, and so on).

Happy Hearts rewards: For every chore/task we did or just day we had with a happy heart (no complaining or temper tantrums or talking back or disobeying), we got a happy heart sticker. Sometimes we earned rewards for a number of stickers.

Every year before [name_u]Christmas[/name_u] we give away everything we don’t need or want anymore to make room for any presents.

Ok this is a really fun one. [name_f]Every[/name_f] [name_u]Christmas[/name_u] our parents will take our dolls or stuffed animals downstairs and when we wake up they’re set up in a special scene. One year we got a doll stage, another year we got a new doll, and when i was really little my mom got us a dress for our bears. But they’re always in a beautiful scene that I can tell takes a lot of time to make.


oh also my parents made us “name songs”.

They took a tune of a song they liked and sang our name to it. Mine was a hymn and it was literally just "[name_f]Elena[/name_f] [name_f]Jeanine[/name_f], [name_f]Elena[/name_f] [name_f]Jeanine[/name_f], [name_f]Elena[/name_f] [name_f]Elena[/name_f] [name_f]Elena[/name_f] [name_f]Jeanine[/name_f] over and over but I still loved it.

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First one is a joke - [name_f]Rose[/name_f] Eating Party (teenberries can understand it :grin:)

Well, there are a lot. I will write them all tomorrow.

On [name_u]Christmas[/name_u] [name_f]Eve[/name_f] we get new pajamas, and we get to wear them on the night before christmas. It’s especially lovely because usually we get the (just some backstory; the big children’s hospital nearest to me releases a new pattern of pajamas every year) new pajamas from the hospital. I think it’s lovely and it always makes me happy, and we’ve been doing it for years. If I have kids I’d definitely want to do the same.


We didn’t really have traditions in my family growing up :pensive: …so I really want to make some (and the special memories attached to them) when we have children. I don’t think poorly of my childhood, but I hope my children can have decidedly more magic and joy than I remember having. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Some of my family’s traditions are:

  • On [name_m]Rosh[/name_m] Hashanah we would take out all the old photo albums and the adults tell stories about growing up and explain who is named after who.
  • On holidays we set the table using really nice silverware that my great uncle brought over to the US from [name_f]Russia[/name_f].
  • On Passover my dad invented a game called commandment or dwarf where you go around in a circle and name either one of the 10 commandments or one of the dwarves from [name_u]Snow[/name_u] White. The last person still in the game (you get out if you can’t name one or if you say something wrong) gets to start looking for the afikomen earlier than the other kids.

That sounds really fun!! And like a wonderful tactical advantage to the winner. It seems people can hide matzo anywhere; in the smallest spots possible!

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oh I love those @MagnoliaE, especially the first! Learning family history is so special. Your last story reminds me of the time I found the matzah first and all of my cousins were so jealous :smile: It was under a hat that a mannequin was wearing. [name_f]My[/name_f] mom’s cousin, who always hosted, is an antique dealer so she always had lots of neat hiding places.

@_thelittlefairywren I think it’s lovely that you want to create new traditions! Wishing you luck in thinking them up :blush:


@AerieEerie Aww, thanks :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: [name_f]My[/name_f] parents are quite religiously conservative in some situations, so I grew up with things like no [name_u]Christmas[/name_u] decorations or tree, no [name_f]Easter[/name_f] hunts, chocolates, or celebrations (other than going to church), etc. Hubby and I are [name_u]Christian[/name_u], but we have a much different view on these celebrations to my parents, and the fun traditions surrounding these special times of year are important to us.

We both also really want to make time for one-on-one dates with each child - my family never did this, because my parents were so big on “everything as a family”. It’s great to a point, but also frustrating. I went to a concert with my mum last year and realised it was probably the first time I’d hung out with just her for like a decade or more!

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I try to pass on a number of Scandinavian traditions to my children, that aren’t celebrated or remembered where we live now.
[name_f]My[/name_f] favorite one is “bun day” (Bolladagur). It’s on the [name_f]Monday[/name_f] before lent, and basically you just eat as many pastries as you can on that day :laughing: I especially love this tradition because Bolladagur is one of my favorite childhood memories. On the [name_f]Sunday[/name_f] my father would always bake all kinds of pastries with me and my twin brother, and especially lots of the typical pastry (Bolla). It was always so much fun. When my brother and I were little we would just mess about and taste everything, when we were a little older we’d put so much effort in making the best pastries. It was like a friendly competition. But that [name_f]Sunday[/name_f] and [name_f]Monday[/name_f] were some of the best days of the year to us. We kept celebrating it together wherever we lived and no matter how old we were, and we still do.

I also love taking my children out into the forest to teach them all about nature like my father did with us. The nature here is nothing like Icelandic nature, where it’s majestic and overwhelming at times, but it’s still great. We used to go camping at least once every summer, and I’d like to do that with my children too. But my oldest was a bit too young, then my youngest was born and now I’m pregnant again, so I haven’t done that yet. It’s high on my list though.

If we were upset when we were little, my father used to come to us around bed time, when we were in our rooms He’d light a little candle for us to hold, and then we could talk about why we were sad or angry. It was just a little thing, but the light and warmth of the candle always gave us some comfort and made talking easier. I sometimes do that with my oldest too.


I vote we all adopt this tradition, because this sounds like a downright awesome time to me! Iceland wins the best holiday award! :rofl::rofl::baguette_bread::bread:

Okay, so this is the most beautiful thing ever :heart_eyes::heart_eyes: What a wonderful way to settle and communicate with a child. I just… wow… can I adopt this too? :heart:

I think it’s very beautiful too, I’d love for more people to adopt this. [name_f]My[/name_f] father was, and still is, very good at this kind of thing. Our childhood wasn’t easy, for various reasons, but he was always there to give us love, patience and warmth. I love passing these things on to my children.