Thoughts on Family Traditions

Easter is this weekend. Earlier in the week, my dad asked if he could take his future grandson to church. “You know, for donuts,” he joked. My first thought was, it would be nice to get away every Sunday just Mike and I while the grandparents took him to church. Selfishly, of course. I was raised a Roman Catholic and Mike was raised in both Catholicism and Christianity. Both sets of grandparents occasionally attend service. Both of us have moved on from it. After talking about it, we’ve reconsidered sending the kid off to church. It just wasn’t an intentional plan. At the same time, we’ve also had to consider curating family traditions.

We’ve thought about nixing holidays like Christmas and Easter, as they originate from religions we don’t ascribe to. But we’ve also recognized the value of tradition as well as the morals we’ve learned from childhood. We’ve since decided to keep some traditions (such as celebrating holidays with grandparents who wish to continue celebrating them) without forcing a ritualistic, weekly service. We will likely use a combination of old and new traditions that would introduce the little one to what we grew up with but not brainwash him away from forming his own conclusions. For example, this Easter, we joined my parents for woodfired BBQ at Heritage BBQ in San Juan. I thought to myself, “Why can’t Easter be this?

It’s interesting, this job of parenting. To have to decide what makes up tradition and what doesn’t until they come of age. Stepping away from the old-school definition, I created a list of family traditions that I imagine our new family would have. Of course, these have no religious basis what-so-ever. And they aren’t set in stone, either. Just things I would love to see us habitually do. Whether we stick to them or not is another matter.

New Family Traditions

  • Filipino breakfast at Lolo and Lola’s once a month.
  • Homemade birthday cakes, over store-bought ones.
  • Cinnamon buns on Christmas morning after opening gifts.
  • Summer BBQs and pool days.
  • Firepit smores and campouts.
  • Outdoor hikes or bike rides.
  • Evening walks and sunsets.
  • Eating dinner together every night.
  • Pizzas on the patio.
  • Sleeping in on Sundays.
  • Weekend waffles, french toast, or pancakes.
  • Easter egg hunts in the backyard.
  • Strawberry picking in the Spring.
  • Holiday lights and hot cocoa.
  • Boardgames and puzzles on rainy days.
  • Books before bedtime.
  • An ocean dip on New Year’s Day.

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