Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Family Traditions
Yesterday at 11:21am
Traditions are very important to children. Have you experienced the following? You do something once and it becomes that thing we "always do". One year we made and decorated cut out cookies before Christmas. The next year the kids bugged me to death to make those "cookies we always make". One way we know traditions are important is kids are so invested in seeing them continue.

When I was growing up my mom made a very big deal out of holidays. She still does. Her house is decorated in pumpkins and scarecrows for Halloween, red hearts for Valentine's Day, pastel eggs for Easter and flags for the Fourth of July. Everyone decorates for Christmas but my mom puts up shamrocks and served us green oatmeal on St. Patrick's Day. She believes in celebrating!

One Valentine's Day, when I was a snarky teenager, we had wrapped presents on our breakfast plates along with decorative napkins. I asked the following question as only a teenager can ask, "If the Easter Bunny brings Easter baskets, who brings the Valentine's presents?" My dad, at the top of his game, quickly replied, "The Valentine's Cow, of course". The Valentine Cow visited us for many years after that and continued to visit us when I had children of my own.

One day this week the Valentine's Cow will buy candy and cards. She'll make cookies and pack everything in boxes to send to our college boys. My daughter's gift has already been purchased. Celebrations and traditions are important. You have them, too. Think about what they are, talk about them and celebrate the things that make your family unique. A Valentine's Cow is pretty unique and while I'm not sure I appreciate the bovine reference, I am happy to continue the tradition.

(I do pretty much the same things at my house except no Valentine cow and never any green oatmeal I have to say!)

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