Family traditions – Fish and Chip Friday is our favourite
I thought my blended family was far from traditional, but then I realised we were fast making our own traditions
“We can’t. What about Fish and Chip Friday,” wailed Boy Two when offered some other end-of-the-week excitement. “And then we have to have Family Film Night Saturday and Pancake Sunday.”
Crikey, it’s not as if our routines are exactly exciting, but they are fun in their own way.
Fish and Chip Friday began when Boy Two started going to football practice on a Friday night under the guidance of The Panther. Somehow, and I see a Panther paw print on it, it seemed like a good idea for them to stop at the chipshop on the way home. Hence FACF was born.
We also have Bath Night Sunday when at least one of Boy Three’s brothers gets in the bath with him.
If one of them has passed the strict test and is deemed to be ill, he gets to lie on the sofa under a blanket.
At bedtime I’ll ask them for their good news and bad news of the day – often an interesting and informative exercise.
At birthdays they get to pick an outing, a venue and the menu.
Christmas brings the tree decorating session to cheesy festive music and officially when permission to get excited is given.
A visit to Granny’s house brings its own rituals, the Boys charge into Granny’s toy cupboard to see if there’s anything new, then they sit back and expect to get one of Granny’s special biscuits. Later they will be prepared to visit Roscoe the Parrot and then walk up a local hill, The Beacon.
I remember the things I seemed to do every time I visited my grandmother, walking in her vegetable garden eating raw things from the ground, looking in her toy cupboard (some of the toys are still there), drinking ‘proper’ tea from a pot with the milk poured first.
And for as long as I can remember, the family has been unable to gather without going for a walk of some description. It’s just what we do, whatever the weather.
Proudgrandparents.co.uk talks about these traditions and rituals as being vital, referring to them as heirlooms.
Junior magazine says that traditions are alive in what it calls the ‘we always’ families, as in ‘we always make snow angels’ or ‘we always go swimming on Saturdays’ and suggests that these habits make some of the best family times.
And if you haven’t got any traditions yet it gives some tips on how to create them, including:
- Eat breakfast for dinner Children love the idea of breaking the rules our version of this is that The Panther lets the Boys eat in the sitting room when I’m not there but it’s a (badly kept) secret.
- Mark a special occasion Take time to notice small changes that can get lost in the hurly-burly of family.
- Take a family portrait Choose a location – it could be a favourite place in your local woods or piled onto your sofa at home – and revisit every year for an annual family snapshot.
So what are your traditions? I’m sure they’re more exciting than Fish and Chip Friday.
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