Creating New Family Traditions: Ideas

Creating new family traditions is not hard. Here are some ideas to anwer the questions of what and how...

Traditions are customs and beliefs that are handed down through a family. Old family traditions are important to carry on and are easily forgotten in today's society of already jam packed calendar schedules. You can incorporate family traditions into your already scheduled events to help you enjoy traditions without needing to adjust your calendar.


Most Christian families purchase a Christmas tree each year. Since my birthday is December 2nd, we started a family tradition to celebrate my birthday and get the Christmas tree on the same day. We purchase a tree permit, plan a picnic of chili and hot chocolate and drive up the mountains to pick out the perfect tree!

Traditions can be as simple as letting the birthday child pick the menu for dinner each year or tying a colorful ribbon around a tree announcing the big day to the neighborhood. Some families use a yellow bow to welcome family members home from a trip and brightly colored bows for family birthdays.

Don't try and handle all of the traditions yourself. It is a family activity and the whole family should help with the preparations. I started a tradition decorating a birthday cake to fit what each family member is interested in that year. We loved the tradition but I found that I was to busy with the other birthday preparations so now my husband decorates the cakes each year!

Another idea is tying a ribbon around the big toe of the birthday child while they are sleeping. Continue winding the ribbon throughout the house and over and under furniture. When the child wakes up and follows the ribbon, the end is tied to a special present! Of course each one of the children will want to have this happen on their Birthday too and will look forward to their turn -that is how tradition's start!


Already scheduled family reunions can also be a excellent time to start traditions. traditions don't have to be a big activity they can be as simple as always sharing a special desert or playing the groups favorite game. Having a talent show, children's play or adult musical jam session at family reunions can provide a fun tradition. Five Generations of the Alldredge family has always had foot races on Cedar Mountain each year. Races are ran according to age group and a sack of candy is given to each participant. This tradition became so embedded in one ancestor that she ran her race with no competitors, and a cane in hand at age 93!


Trunk or Treating has become another favorite tradition that started as a safe alternative to trick or treating in the streets. As a annual neighborhood event we gather our decorated cars at a nearby chapel parking lot and open the trunks. Children walk from car to car to trick or treat. Some cars have games the kids can do before getting the treat. Often cars are lit with a strand of orange lights and spooky music playing too.

The Family Night Phantom is another fun tradition where your family takes a treat to unsuspecting homes with a poem.

"The Phantom Ghost has come to town

to leave you some goodies, I see you have found.

If you do not wish a curse to fall,

Continue this greeting, the Phantom call.

Post this Phantom where it can be seen,

and leave it there until Halloween.

Then make two treats and two phantoms like this,

Deliver them to 2 neighbors who may have been missed.

Deliver at dark, when there is no light, Ring the doorbell, run and stay out of sight! Have fun and remember, don't be seen....share in the spirit of Halloween!"


Traditions do not need to cost lots of money or take days of preparation. Simply enjoying a routine activity can turn it into a tradition your family can carry on for generations to come. Just look what the pilgrims started when they ate a turkey dinner to celebrate and give thanks in America! Share your favorite food on a special day and you could be starting a tradition too!

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