Matt and I have exactly three traditions in our family. The worst part is they are all crammed within 10 weeks of the year so we go a long stretch without them. But as they approach, I cannot help but get excited.
When I got married I vividly remember my mom giving me a little talk one day (yes, moms will ALWAYS give you little talks) about how Matt & I were a family and needed to create our own traditions. The talk came up as we discussed holiday schedules, and I am so grateful for family, on both sides, that sees the absolute insanity that some people give the holidays, and how excommunicating someone because they didn't show up for a dry turkey is reason to be imprisoned. Okay, thats en entirely different blog post, but regardless- I took what mom said to heart.
As our first year of marriage ticked by in a flash, we created some really magical traditions, and the best part? One of them is a tradition that I grew up with, and we've now made our own.
Here's the part where I give you total and complete freedom to steal any one of these because they are so awesome.
1.) Sloppy Joes & BBQ Chips on Halloween Night.- This one is so bizarre and I love it. Some random Halloween night in the 90's my mom whipped up a batch of sloppy joes and tossed some BBQ chips on our plates. We were in heaven. It wasn't chicken. There was no vegetable. AND we got to go out afterward and get free candy from strangers. And so, the Franks Family Halloween Dinner was born. Every year that I can remember, sloppy joes and orange dusted potato chips somehow end up on a plate for me on Halloween. In college, I made the meal for my roommates each year before we hit the bar. It's so odd. But so awesome. I cannot think of anything more midwestern than browned hamburger with sauce on a bun. Yumz.
2.) Oysters on Matt's Birthday. -If Matt was on death row he would order approximately 700 oysters for his last meal. With horseradish, vinegar/shallot sauce, cocktail sauce and all the fixings. So last year, we started a tradition that on Matt's birthday, I drum up a silver platter (not kidding you) of fresh oysters. One oyster for every year, and an extra for good luck. We aren't big gift people so this is my gift on that special November day each year.
3.) "It's a Wonderful Life" on our Christmas date. -"It's a Wonderful Life" is my favorite movie. So last year, we went out to see it on the big screen at the State Theater in Traverse City. When they handed out bells to every member of the audience at the ticket window I felt like moonbeams were shooting out of my fingertips and my hair (see what I did there?). And sure enough, we all rang them loud and proud when Clarence got his wings. Did I mention that before the show there was carol singing? Swoon. We've decided that night that wherever we are in this great big world of ours, every year, we will make it a point to sit together and watch this movie before Christmas. No, not like 'sit together and doze off from the prime rib and 4 glasses of wine on Christmas Eve while my family plays charades and its on in the background' watch. I mean the, we are going to sit down, even if its in 'this drafty old house' and watch it. (see what I did there too?!?)
Traditions are important. Go make some. No matter who they are with, or how odd they are- find a way to make them happen. There are plenty of small ones I honor every year, sending homemade Valentines, visiting my favorite beach, but create a few that feed your soul. And when you do, have fun. Hee Haw! (I had to, last one.)