Class member: I was thinking about our Thanksgiving & Christmas traditions. We always spend Thanksgiving with my in-laws and Christmas is our family. My Mom spends Christmas Eve at my house. I rarely get her alone. Both of my kids said their favorites are Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Class member: One thing I loved about Tracy, was that you were ‘real’. You weren't perfect.
Class member: It gave me a pretty big boost because you weren’t always perfect. I felt like it wasn’t too late. I felt like I could actually change things.
It’s never too late. You can teach principles. It doesn’t mean I can live them. It just means they are true. Sometimes I didn’t do really well. If I bear you my testimony you aren’t going to always say, “Sister Tanner says that the gospel is true.” It needs to become yours.
Class member: I told my husband about the home teaching. This young man goes all the time…every Sunday and during the week. We should be thankful for what we have. 12 families to visit is a lot.
Class member: The thing I liked was talking about regular every day things we do that are traditions. When I drop my kids off to school they have to come up with an adjective for the day…”Marvelous Monday”, “Thrilling Thursday”. Now the carpool kids are getting involved in it too. It was a good reminder that these little quirks are traditions that the kids love. It’s ok to be a cheesy mom.
It will be their memory.
Class member: One of the ladies talked about their tradition of going over the apostles and learning about them. It becomes ‘their’ apostle because they know who they are.
You could have the kids do a report on whichever apostle they choose. It sticks a little better if they have to look it up and teach it to the family.
Tell me about General Conference…
Class member: The class before you had shared to get an Ensign from Conference for each of the kids. Then one of the talks was about the Hiawatha Tunnel. We took our kids there this summer. I’m so excited to get those individual copies for the kids.
Be sure on the front you put their names.
Class member: You told us to write down questions and listen for the answers. So I did that with my kids too. My oldest is 7. We had some serious ones. My 7 year old wants to see if “hell” is a real place. After each speaker and each session we asked…”Did you find the answer to your question?” I have a folder for each of them.
Class member: We made it all 4 sessions with binder activities.
Class member: We’ve done Conference Bingo for years. This year I decided to change the tradition a little. This time I had the treat associated with a word from their question. I loved that I wasn’t being interrupted. You go get the ones you heard during the song or at the end. It made it a lot nicer for me. They enjoyed it too.
Then what? Then what are you going to do?
Class member: I didn’t realize that the Conference traditions really sat with them. The Wednesday before Conference my 11 year old came to me. It was so exciting to him that he wanted to invite our neighbors. They aren’t LDS. They said they would love to. They came on Sunday morning. We did the tradition that he knew. They came. It was a great session. Their kids were younger. My son makes a big nest and plays legos in his nest. The 2 friends jumped in the nest and played with him. Your question “What then…” what then do we do with our neighbor. For our family it is to keep this family engaged in Christ.
Class member: They gave so many things to apply right then…Ponderizing. That was a good take-away right then.
Yesterday I sent out emails to my three 14 year old grand-daughters. I said, this is my ponderizing scripture for the week, let me know what yours is. We will check back on Sunday. I'm trying to start a new tradition with them.
How many of you have your scriptures on the fridge? That was the first thing to write it down.
Class member: After we heard about ponderize I told my kids we should do that. Then the thought popped into my head that we have already been doing that since March. Our family is memorizing the Proclamation on the Family. We have been talking about it and discussing it since then. I told my family that we have already been doing this for 6+ months. That we were doing it right. The Proclamation is scripture from our living prophets today. We plan to keep going.
It is imperative that you pull things out from Conference and let us know that we are doing most things right, but we can improve on a few things too. It is critically important that you build them up and validate that they are doing a whole bunch right.
Class member: My 9 and 8 year old didn’t want the little ones around being noisy. They were taking notes word for word. She started getting a little teary eyed. When the Spirit enters the room she gets defensive. We were able to identify that it was the Spirit. Family Night came and my 8 year old wanted to share her testimony. My 9 year old said she didn’t want to share. I said You have a testimony of Conference. That is your testimony by taking notes. The actions you are taking is your testimony that you love Conference. Her actions were her testimony.
What lesson is that a perfect example of? Helping your children understand, recognize, and feel comfortable with it.
You as Mom’s are doing so many things right of yourselves.
(Sara) One of our assignments was to ask our kids what their favorite traditions were. Every Christmas Eve we do a "Shepherd's supper". We sit on a blanket in the living room and have simple things to eat that the Shepherd's could have eaten back when Jesus was born. 2 of my kids told us that this was their favorite. I was surprised. They used to complain about it. But with persistence it became one of their favorites!
Composition Notebook for each kid to write back and forth with Mom. Mom and child take turns.
Family drive to see Christmas lights.
On the first day of winter we ate dinner with snow hats & gloves/mittens.
On December 23rd our family slept under the Christmas tree.
We make goodies and doorbell ditch them.
We do ‘Harrison Seminary’ before school. You have to be 7 join. (Our kids are not in high school yet)
Not getting/giving family gifts…My cousin had stage 4 stomach cancer a couple of years ago. All the money we would have spent, we collected and gave to my cousin and her family. She and her husband were able to take their two boys on a family vacation before her passing. Our Christmas’ have never been the same. We spend time as a family and cherish it more because we don’t stress about buying gifts and are able to think about our family, especially our cousin.
Daily Tradition—Read books and sing primary songs with our young kids before bed.
(Karen) Easter Bunny always leaves a treasure map and then we go on a treasure hunt to find “Easter Chest” (always go around the farm to find)
(Karen) We live on a farm and as a family we go set handline sprinklers in the pasture. After we get done with the line, the kids get to take their umbrellas and run through the sprinklers.
(Karen) We make secret service hearts out of construction paper and then leave hearts after doing a service like make someone’s bed, unload dishwasher, etc.
(Beth) Homemade donuts on Halloween.
(Beth) Abraham Lincoln Thanksgiving Day address read at Thanksgiving Dinner.
(Beth) Homemade breakfast daily.
Valentine’s Day (14 days)—We choose a family to be our ‘victims’. We find treats and toys to give every day of February leading up to Valentine’s Day. We write silly poems to go along with each day – 1 thing on the first, 2 things on the 2nd, 3 on the 3rd, etc. It’s a way to serve and show love for 2 weeks. WE secretly drop them off daily and reveal ourselves at the end.
School Days---I walk the kids to the bus stop and connect with them as they leave, I always say, “Go, be awesome!” or “Go be awesome!”
At the Lovell house, if you join us for a mealtime you will be expected to participate in the Jinx game. My husband started it to teach the kids not to talk with food in their mouth. If you speak with food in your mouth, someone can “Jinx” you and then you can’t talk until 3 different people say your name. If you get “double-jinxed” your name has to be said 6x OR after 15 minutes you can be automatically freed.
For April Fool’s Day, my Mom’s family used to make ‘surprise cookies’. They are like 2 sugar cookies with a fruit filling, but some cookies have a cotton ball inside, so nibble carefully. J I don’t like pranks, but I do enjoy fun food to celebrate. We’ve done jello in goblets pretending to be kool-aid, too.
We do an extended family service activity. WE pool money and then spend it on things like….tipping the pizza driver, giving a gift card to the person behind us in line at the store, taking quarter in the Laundromat, Giving hand warmers out to bell ringers etc, Writing notes about beautiful decorations and taping it to their door, Paying for the fast food of the person behind you. Once the activity is over the groups get back together and share their experiences.
We always to a family cheer at night after scriptures. “Choose the rights, Goodnight!”
October 1st we have a celebrate Fall day. WE make pumpkin muffins and sugar cookies and decorate for Fall and Halloween.
4th of July breakfast….cook breakfast outside on camp stoves and have a patriotic program. We sing patriotic songs, tell stories, each year is different. Everyone can contribute. We learn about patriotic songs, the wars, what the prophets have said about our country, etc.
For Valentine’s Day my Mom always got us a cute little gift. We also had little envelopes on tour door and we’d leave love notes to each other in them. WE always made our own valentines for school, never bought packages. My sister and I had a “Diner” we’d make dinner for Mom and Dad and set the table fancy then go downstairs and watch a movie.
For Thanksgiving we each had a long skinny piece of paper taped up in the front room and all week long we add to the list of things we are grateful for. Then on Thanksgiving Day we read our lists to each other. My Mom always read a book on the history of the First Thanksgiving.
(Carolann) Want to start “Ponderize” with my husband and encourage my children to do it with their children.
(Carolann) My husband served in the Air Force for seven years and is very patriotic. We have a permanent flag pole in our front yard to display our flag on national holidays.
(Natricia) 10th Birthday Double Digit Birthday. We celebrated with something fun every day for 10 days. At the exact moment he was born. We set off fireworks outside. It was cold (November) 10 balloons on ceiling when he woke up.
For FHE activities with have races with spoons on our noses.
I love Christmas! Our favorite family tradition we started a couple years ago it everyone gets to go to their favorite “take out” restaurant on Christmas Eve! Before that we a fun family activity!
We don’t really have any daily traditions…YET other than reading scriptures @ 6:30 right before our kids leave for school.
(Montufur tradition) I like to keep my car clean and do not arguing with children it seems like an impossible thing. When my children climb over the seats, put their shoes ont eh seat of the car, or say anything rude to another person there are consequences of doing one of these things. One was 10 pushups. No matter where we are. Needless to say wet, snowed on, rocky road, muddy roadside they had to to pushups right there. My children have always been great sports about it and even laugh when it was in a place that was awkward. Sometimes they will tell on themselves just to have to do pushups in weird places.
Dad set ups a trap for Santa. He tried to talk the kids into helping but they don’t want to wake up to coal in their stockings. The kids spend their time trying to warn Santa with notes. The kids talk about this all year long.
Going to Grandma’s every Christmas and watching Christmas movies Christmas Eve night.
Watching Macy’s Thanksgiving parade as a family every Thanksgiving.
Keeping baby books and keepsake boxes for the kids—ultrasound pictures, hospital bracelets, certificates, first lost tooth, artwork, etc. and show them to the kids often.
(Sabrina) 2 years ago my family started “giving Christmas away” instead of spending money on present, we use that money to buy socks, hats, gloves, granola bars, etc to make “Blessing Bags” and on Christmas Eve we take them to a local homeless shelter. Last year we were able to give out 100 blessing bags and everyone loved giving them out and the feeling it brought…kept the Spirit of Christmas alive.
(Sabrina) My husband calls me on his breaks at work…I get to talk to him @ 10, 12 & 3. It gives me something to look forward to and I love it!
(Beth) Chalk board in our kitchen– each season write a “bucket list” of things we want to do. Things we look forward to for that season (ie: Fall drink hot caramel apple cider, wear boots sweaters, go to a high school foot ball game, roast pumpkin seeds.)
(Beth) 7-11 Free Slurpee Day. We grew up loving to go get a cup of cold sugar!
(Beth) Once a month gather for the birthdays in the family that month for not just cake and presents but kite day or cookie day. Do something together as a family that celebrates those whose special month it is. We call it “Holiday Birthday Month Extravaganza”
We go Christmas caroling during December.
“Girl talk” at night when tucking them into bed. Ask them questions. They get to ask you questions.
Shop at a thrift store for extended family with drawn names. The gift you receive must be used in it’s intended way for a group photo
When Dad gets home, we all say, “Our fearless leader is home!” Then we all hug and kiss him.
Check out the traditions listed in the menu above.