Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Share and Create Family Traditions

One of the greatest revelations about happiness I've had this year is that sharing and creating family traditions brings me immense joy. Here are some of my ideas as to why this is so:

1. I'm a creature of habit who likes predictability
2. All of my extended family lives at least a day's drive away, so I miss them a lot, and sharing family traditions makes me feel closer to the people that passed the traditions down to me (i.e., my family).
3. I feel like I'm doing something right when I share a family tradition with my daughter, which feels good.
4. Traditions make our little 3-person family feel like a real team of people who belong together.
5. I'm a homebody, and sharing family traditions adds a little fun to days spent in our little home/neighborhood.

So obviously, if I need a happiness boost, I just need to engage in some good old fashioned family tradition. And in my family, that means doing one of the following:
a) taking pictures. - Huge group photos in which teenagers roll their eyes and someone holds a dog to get them to stay in the picture are the utmost pinnacle of photo success in our family tradition.
b) making chocolate chip cookies. - From scratch. Using my mom's recipe. Yes, you must eat at least a few spoonfuls of the dough. No, so far I've never gotten salmonella. Yes, I do realize it's bound to happen one day.
c) going on a walk - preferably in the woods. preferably at sunset. preferably someplace where you'll pass some horses and be able to throw them an apple or a carrot. preferably walking not for exercise, but for taking in the scenery.

Since I live in downtown Durham, I typically have to settle for a walk around the block and then a or b. Or both.

So yesterday, Flanna and I made homemade chocolate chip cookies from scratch by my mom's recipe, then put the cookies on my grandma Norma's retro hand-me-down platter.

It was super fun. And the cookies, I wish you could taste them, or even just smell them. Yum. A definite happiness booster.

What family tradition do you love to keep?


  1. I love traditions...and when the old ones die out b/c people pass on- it's important to start new ones...Like a few years ago we started going to Stone Mountain Christmas and Snow Mountain -this will be our third year....and we love it!

  2. Mmmm, your mom's cookies. Was I the teenager rolling my eyes and needing to hold a dog to stay in the shot? Answer: I was one of the teenagers rolling my eyes and needing to hold a dog to stay in the shot. Honorary Morgan!!!

  3. Amber, that sounds like such fun! Maybe we'll have to do that this year when we're home in GA, too!

    And Kelley, you of course are an honorary Morgan, no question about it. :) But I think you were a pretty smiley teenager.