Stephanie Joiner

Freshman Seminar 2010

Family Traditions

Traditions are the basis of cultures all over the world. Everyone knows of or is a part of at least one tradition. They are also present in all sorts of holidays and events. There are ceremonial traditions at church services and ritual traditions in certain cultures. There are even traditions that are followed on certain holidays. For example, it is a tradition to give gifts to your loved ones on Christmas, and it is a tradition to wear a costume on Halloween. It is a tradition to gather together with all of your family and have a large dinner on Thanksgiving, and it is a tradition to set off fireworks on the Fourth of July. Each culture has their own traditions. However, traditions aren’t contained to just large groups of people. Most families have their own traditions. These traditions are often more important and significant to the people that take part in them because they are only shared by their family or friends. They are special to them and will most likely be passed on year after year to continue the tradition.


Many of my families most significant traditions occur around Christmas time. One of my favorites is picking out our Christmas tree. My grandpa used to have a Christmas tree farm. Every year my family would pile onto the back of a trailer and my grandpa would pull as around the farm on his tractor. We would look through all the trees until we found the perfect one, and then my dad would chop it down. After a few years my grandparents moved to a different house and sold the Christmas tree farm, but we still found a way to keep the tradition. Instead, we just all went to a Christmas tree shop in town and picked out our favorite to bring home. Another one of my favorite things is decorating the tree. We all sing Christmas music, eat cookies, and decorate the tree together, all while sharing funny stories about the silly ornaments we find.

My absolute favorite tradition, however, is on Christmas Eve. Every Christmas Eve we pile onto the couch and listen to my dad read The Night Before Christmas. We take a family picture, eat some cookies, and then head to bed! (He knows when you’re awake!!)


Another one of my families traditions occur on our birthdays. For each persons birthday we let them pick their favorite restaurant, no matter what it is, and go there for dinner. There can be NO objections. (Even though there are sometimes some “Are you serious?” statements thrown in somewhere. I say we should keep it interesting!) My mom and dad usually stick with something common like Ruby Tuesdays, but me and my sister are always out to pick something different. And my four year old brother, well, I think he will always pick McDonald’s.