The Family Traditions “Master List”

Here it is (better late than never…), the “Master List” of family tradition ideas compiled from not only my Family Traditions Series, but also readers who left comments and emailed ideas to me.

There are some great ideas here! If you need inspiration to start new traditions for your family, this is it. If you’re not sure why you should have traditions, make sure to read this to remind yourself why they are important.

If you’d like to add a tradition to the list, just let me know!

Daily Traditions

  1. Eat dinner together
  2. Hold hands when your family says the blessing
  3. Light candles on the table every night, or at least in the winter
  4. Try turning off all the lights and eating only by candlelight during the winter
  5. Read aloud classic books the half hour before bedtime (start when they’re young and keep going- think “Little House On The Prairie” all the way up to “Lord of The Rings.”)

Weekly Traditions

  1. Have a “cleaning night” and play music loud while everybody does their job- end with an ice cream reward
  2. Saturday (or Friday) At the Movies- make it the only time it’s OK to eat in front of the TV.
  3. Work through a genre of movies on the movie night (musicals, westerns, old Disney, etc.)
  4. Make one night always the same meal- like Saturdays are always pizza
  5. Saturday morning sweet cereal (the only time sweet cereal is allowed…)
  6. Saturday morning big breakfasts (pull out all the stops with pancakes, eggs, etc.)
  7. Have tea with sandwiches and cookies on Sunday afternoons- make sure to bring out the teapots and pretty cups and saucers
  8. America’s Funniest Video’s night
  9. Friday (or Saturday) date night- kids get a sitter and frozen pizza
  10. Have breakfast for dinner
  11. Early (6am!) grocery shop
  12. “Pioneer Night” (monthly)- turn off everything and eat, play games, and read only by candlelight

Yearly Traditions

  1. Pick apples in the fall and make juice, applesauce, or just eat…
  2. Get donuts on the first day of the school year
  3. Take a picture by the door on the first day of school
  4. Have a big family birthday party (and just a small friend one…)
  5. Stay/camp in the same place each year with extended family
  6. Have a weekend snow trip
  7. Summer road trips with a trailer or tent camping
  8. Ice cream/treat/breakfast out for good grades
  9. Celebrate end of a good school year with special dinner out and a movie
  10. Camp in the summer
  11. Take a hike during the first cold rain with dad- mom has popcorn and cocoa waiting

Holiday Traditions

  1. Thanksgiving “thankful tree” or basket
  2. Decorate for Christmas the Friday or Saturday after Thanksgiving
  3. Special Christmas Eve presents: pajamas & slippers; ornaments; crayons and coloring book; book
  4. Cut Christmas tree- include cocoa and a snowball fight
  5. Really celebrate advent by reading a book or verses and counting down
  6. Holiday show or movie
  7. Make and decorate cookies (candies, gingerbread houses or men, etc.)
  8. Use stamps, glitter, and stickers to make gift wrap, cards, etc. with the kids
  9. Have special holiday meals (i.e., Christmas Eve is always Fish and Chips)
  10. Don’t put gifts under the tree until Christmas Eve
  11. Only give three gifts on Christmas to represent the gifts from the wise men
  12. Attend Christmas Eve services
  13. Watch a special movie on Christmas Eve (“A Christmas Carol,” “White Christmas,” etc.)
  14. Make an “Easter Tree” with pussy willow branches and wooden eggs & small rabbits

When The Kids Are Older

  1. Siblings take mom to lunch/dinner once a month
  2. Meet for lunch once a week/month with grown children
  3. Make one day “Mom Cooks” day where grown children and families know they can come for dinner (every Sunday afternoon, Thursday night, etc.)

This is linked at:
Finer Things Friday
Frugal Fridays @





  1. Shirley says

    Great ideas here! We do some of these, like gifts of pjs on Christmas Eve, and I’ve gotten more wonderful ideas now. Thanks.

  2. says

    This is a great list…I’ve got one picked out that I want to try…a weekly “cleaning” night and celebrating with ice cream afterwards :) :) I think my dad would go for this…especially since we both love coffee ice cream :) :) Yummy!!! Have a lovely week. Love and hugs from ORegon, Heather :)

  3. Ron says

    We have dinner after church, Saturdays, all our families, (parents, brother, son & family), usually a dozen or more. All are invited.

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