Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why you should eat cake for breakfast and tips for other family traditions

Sometimes my mom let us eat cake for breakfast. (Maybe "let us eat cake" is the wrong phrase. Maybe I should say "turned a blind eye while we devoured leftover cake.") It wasn't often, but it's something I have vivid and fond memories of from my childhood. (Now that I think about it, I am pretty sure she was eating that cake with us. So, thanks, Mom!)

So, I think of that while I come up with new fun traditions for my own family.  Lots of families do Elf on the Shelf or advent calendars or caroling or carry on other traditions from their childhood that they enjoyed.

But I have different traditions in mind - ones that are a little offbeat so that my son will remember them when he is an adult. To that end, I want to encourage you to create new traditions for your family. Here are some tips to help with that.
  1. Make it a little crazy.
    We're celebrating topsy turvy Christmas Eve this year, in which we eat dessert for breakfast, dinner for lunch and breakfast for dinner. It's just a little bit of fun injected in a day filled with anticipation. Our Pajama-thanksgiving went really well, and I look forward to the time when my son will have to explain to his friends that we wear our pajamas all Thanksgiving Day (and we expect any of our guests to wear them, too.)

  2. Create traditions that have nothing to do with the holidays.
    The family that has Dinovember is awesome. As of right now, the colorful pirate Captain Crayon visits our house, leaves a series of scavenger-hunt style notes and clues that leads to a box filled with doubloons and chocolate. My son is excited about Captain Crayon's hunts and I think my husband (who helps him read the clues) loves them, too.

  3. Be flexible.
    So what if you can't recreate your grandmother's stuffing or you feel like putting up Christmas decorations the second Thanksgiving dinner is over? Do what works for your family. Don't force yourselves to do something just because "it's traditional."

  4. Encourage other family members to create traditions with your children.
    Yearly cookie making with Nana, reading a special book with an uncle, singing Christmas songs with Grandpa over Skype - all of these one-on-one interactions make for some great memories and you don't need to be in the picture.

  5. Ask your family for their opinion.
    (Sorry, honey, this doesn't mean that you are getting out of those Captain Crayon scavenger hunts.) My son has already told me that he wants to leave out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer, so I am listening to him. I want him to feel like a part of our family's traditions and hopefully when he is a little older he'll help make new ones.
What's your advice for starting a family tradition this year? What new ones do you hope to start? Let me know in the comments.

In the meantime, I'll be eating some cake for breakfast. (Don't worry, I'll be standing up.)


  1. I love your family traditions. I have to admit, I'm pretty lame in that department. The only tradition that we are big on is on birthdays and Christmas, we go through the kids toys and clothes and donate. I really need to spice things up. I'm not a fan of the Elf on the Shelf. Now, you have my mind wondering! Great post!

    1. Thanks, Sara! I hope that you create something witty and insane. If you do, please let me know so I can adapt it for my family!