I absolutely adore family traditions. I find them to be pivotal in making memories. Since having our first child, we have tried to instill different traditions in our family. We tried looking at our (my husband and my) growing up years for inspiration. We also talked with friends, and continue to embrace new ones over the years. We do not participate in some of the normal secular traditions, like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or Trick-or-Treating for Halloween, so perhaps that is why instilling traditions is even more important to us.
For Thanksgiving, we started a family tradition three years ago. Our two oldest boys dream of being a police officer and a fireman/paramedic. The younger of the two, upon finding out that they still have to work on holidays, wanted more than anything to bring them a full holiday dinner. He and I made a compromise - I would bake a pumpkin pie - one for the police department, and one for the fire department, every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once we get the turkey in the oven in the morning, we wrap up and head out the door, pies in hand. The appreciation expressed by those working brings joy to our boys' hearts like nothing else!
Afterwards, we head home and finish up our dinner. When we eat our own pies, the boys always question whether we think those working liked the pie and are eating it at the same time we are. It is one family tradition that may mean extra work for me, but is worth it in so many ways!!!
And for the fun of it, here are some pictures of our dinner :)