Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | February 3, 2009

Family traditions

A true treasure is a family tradition that everyone can enjoy and look forward to together.I have some childhood memories that directly tie to family traditions, and that makes them feel even more special as an adult.

One tradition I still celebrate every year happens on the morning of Christmas Eve. At around 10 a.m., the Kings College Choir from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom broadcasts a Christmas service. Each year a young boy begins the service by singing the beginning of “Once in Royal David’s city”, and is soon joined by the rest of the choir. Before the boy begins the opening song, he doesn’t know if he will be chosen to sing. Then, at the last moment, the director points to the boy, and the one who the director chooses begins a song that is heard all over the world.

On Christmas Eve, my parents and sisters and I always gathered around the radio in anticipation of the song. Now, as grown adults, my sisters and I still gather by the radio, only now it is with our own families. As I listen to the song every Christmas Eve, I experience feelings of wonder and connection at the same time; wonder at the song and it’s beauty, and connection knowing that as I cuddle and listen with my own children, my sisters do the same from their homes, and my parents from theirs. It is a special moment in time for each of us, and a tradition I have always loved. Here is a link to the website for the Kings College Choir: Kings choir link

Other traditions we share are videotaping the youngest through the oldest person coming down our stairs on Christmas morning, and decorating the Christmas tree together soon after thanksgiving day. These are simple traditions that I hope our children will always cherish. It is such a gift for your family to create traditions together, and it can give your children a connection with the past that will thread through the years of their lives.



  1. Great tradition. It’s great to make traditions at other times of the year too! One tradition we had is that the first official day of summer we brainstormed a list of fun things we each wanted to do this summer. We challenged everyone to think of things that didn’t cost much or were free. We put the list in a scrapbook and used our list all summer long whenever we were looking for something to do. After the activity, each kid drew a picture or added other memorabilia to the scrapbook. It was amazing the things the children really want to do. For example, when Tim was 5 years old the one thing he wanted to do was run the bases on a baseball diamond with real bags. We found a park that had one, brought a picnic lunch and made a day of it. ONe of my best family memories!

    • The scrapbook idea must have been a great way to celebrate when you were able to finish one of your activities…this is a great idea for kids of many different ages. Thanks Karen!

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