“Fun with Family Traditions,” Ensign, Dec. 2001, 60–61
When I was young, my parents started a number of family traditions that my brothers and sisters and I now carry over into our own families. Some of our favorites include the following fun activities:
New Year’s Eve. Our New Year’s Eve celebrations were family affairs. Each child invited a few friends to join our family party. To accommodate the crowd, we set up card tables in the living room, dining room, and family room. The evening began with a get-acquainted game; then everyone found a place at a card table and played games. At midnight we served a buffet dinner, sang “Auld Lang Syne,” and threw confetti.
Birthdays. Birthdays were always special days. We were treated to breakfast in bed and then allowed to open our presents before getting up. We were not required to do any chores for the day, and Mother always asked us what we wanted for a special birthday dinner.
My parents went to great lengths to be home for those special dinners. One night my father even excused himself from a meeting with a business client, saying he could not be late for a special dinner. Later that evening the client came to the house and was surprised to see linen, crystal, china, and fresh flowers on the table—and hamburgers on the plates!
Dinnertime. Our family tended to be very vocal, and dinnertimes were usually fun occasions. Sometimes we discussed current events, talked about Church doctrine, or just laughed at funny things that had happened during the day. Just being together each evening brought us closer together.
Spring cleanup day. Each year our family gathered at nine o’clock sharp on a Saturday morning to prepare the yard and garden for summer. By five that evening Mother had meat cooking on the grill for an outdoor picnic, and the yard was ready for summertime activities.
Fourth of July. We usually began this summer holiday with a game of baseball in the park, then games with the children. Later we went swimming and had a barbecue. Mother’s homemade ice cream bars were always a special treat. The evening ended with a patriotic program and fireworks.
Family fun times have now moved to a new generation, and many of these traditions continue to enrich our lives.—Marsha Sparhawk, Rexburg 15th Ward, Rexburg Idaho East Stake