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The Simplest Traditions

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
What are some of your very simple traditions for the fall and the Holidays?

post #2 of 31
I love these threads! This is my favorite time of the year!
post #3 of 31
my boys are young so we're still in the early stages of developing our family's traditions.

our favorite thing to do in the fall is go for walks and collect the colorful leaves from the ground. we have a favorite neighborhood maple tree that turns brilliant red, so that's our main destination on our walk (most leaves here turn yellow, some orange, so this tree feels special).

we eat pumpkins and winter squash like crazy, probably a couple times a week. also sweet potatoes and other root veggies - otherwise it just wouldn't be fall!

our nuclear family does thanksgiving at home, which is nice since most holidays are a big rush around to be with other extended family. people are welcome to drop by. we have a tofurkey (extended family eats meat, so it's nice to have exactly what we want for this meal), molasses green beans, and mashed potatoes with a beet or two in them which makes them look amazing. we also put up our tree (a pink tinsel tree - matches the potatoes!) and decorate it on thanksgiving. that's pretty much our only christmas decoration as christmas is more a cultural tradition for us than anything else (we don't share the religious beliefs behind it). thanksgiving is also the big day when i finally get to start playing christmas music in the house, lol.

through the second half of the fall and into winter, i keep a lot of evergreen stuff in the fresh flower arrangements (always have one on the table and often there is a second, smaller arrangement made from whatever isn't wilted out of the previous week's vase). since we have a fake tree, that makes it feel yummy and wintery in the house.

i'd love to start doing solstice as a family too. not sure what we would exactly do so i'll have to watch here for everyone else's ideas!
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
I am really low key and we dont really have traditions cause every Christmas i've been popping out little's for the last several years. LOL.

I am much more organized this year.
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
PINK mashed potatoes!?!?!?! SOLD!!! I have a 3 yr old who is so fancy she would knock your socks off. LMAO.

I want to do solstice also....carefully thouh as most of my family are Christian and I need to not freak them out too much. (Dh too. )
post #6 of 31
We pick apples a few times every fall, and make apple pie. And pumpkins and pumpkin pie too.
post #7 of 31
Sigh, see...I miss this stuff! There are only a few things that I miss, and fall actually was pretty nice (up to a point) living up north. Now, in the deep south we don't really see that. Our fall is different. Wonderful, but different!

I do buy cider AND I make the best cinnamon sugar buttermilk donuts you've never tasted! There was a cider mill up in MI that DH and I visited a few times during our courtship. They stopped making their own cider when the pasturization law went into effect up there...so they no longer exist because they were so small scale...but still I have good memories.

So much that one time four years ago I made the buttermilk donut recipe off of my mom's old donut making funnel (which she had shipped to me). And, I tossed them in the cinnamon sugar and DH said "that is it" and indeed it tasted exactly like the fresh ones from up in Michigan!

So, cider and donuts here!
post #8 of 31
subbing to get ideas. christmas is cultural for too - dd & i love, love, love the decorations!

i'd also like to do a simple solstice thing so dd could be involved & hopefully my very negative husband wouldn't say anything.
post #9 of 31
Oh, I love this stuff. Our fall traditions include a trip to the "pumpkin patch" to get pumpkins, go on a hayride, etc. This year I also want to go to the solstice celebration at Pacific Spirit Park. At Christmas time we go on the Christmas Train at Stanley Park and visit Father Christmas and ride the vintage carousel at Burnaby Heritage Village. We love baking and (of course) eating and we go to the weekly farmers market till the end of October.
post #10 of 31
i just had a fun idea (for our family anyway, but thought i'd share!) for solstice. i remember last winter when ds was asking why it was so dark in winter, why things stopped growing, where the animals were, etc. we had already been talking about why sleep was important for our bodies to grow and heal and for our minds to hold on to the things we learned during the day. with that in mind, we talked about how winter was like night for nature. trees are sleeping, fields are sleeping, lots of animals are sleeping . . . and we all need rest. so maybe a fun solstice ritual/tradition would be to "tuck" things in for winter (around our yard), saying goodnight and maybe leaving little comfort items around so they'll have sweet dreams.
post #11 of 31
I feel like our traditions are just "normal" stuff, but since "normal" varies so much, I'll list them anyway.

Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving: Pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, leaf collecting, baking things like pumpkin bread, a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and decorating the house with things like leaves and pumpkins.

Winter/Christmas: Santa stuff (visit at mall, write a letter, hang stockings, put out a plate of cookies), baking a wide array of cookies and candies for gifts and guests (our family favorites are Russian teacakes, chocolate crinkles, and fudge), buying/making/wrapping gifts for friends and family, driving around in neighborhoods where everyone decorates to look at Christmas lights, hanging lights of our own, decorating the tree while drinking apple cider and listening to carols, decorating the house with things like snowmen and reindeer, letting the kids open one gift (always new PJs) on Christmas Eve just before bed, baking something great to have on Christmas morning (like homemade yeast cinnamon rolls -- yum!), waking up super early to open stockings and make coffee, opening gifts in our PJs, spending most of the day lounging around home so the kids can enjoy their new toys, then going to my ILs' for Christmas dinner.

One of my decorations is a huge, tall glass vase that I leave on the mantle all year and just fill with different stuff every season. So for fall I fill it with small pumpkins and gourds, then for Christmas I fill it with a mixture of pine cones and colored ornaments. In the spring and summer I'll fill it with things like apples and lemons. It's really pretty, and so easy to do! I also like to take down our usual wall art and replace it with Christmas stuff so that our house looks dramatically different. Like we take down the aspen print that's over the mantle and replace it with a big wreath, then we take down the landscape print that's by the dining table and replace it with our advent calendar. It just makes everything seem fresh and new and special.
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
PINK mashed potatoes!?!?!?! SOLD!!! I have a 3 yr old who is so fancy she would knock your socks off. LMAO.

I want to do solstice also....carefully thouh as most of my family are Christian and I need to not freak them out too much. (Dh too. )
Yes PLEASE PLEASE give the recipe for the pink mashed potatoes!! My DD is OBSESSED with pink and she loves mashed potatoes but I suck at making homeade ones I am embarassed to admit.
post #13 of 31
we call them mashed pinktatoes. (we make it other times too - i mean, nothing says easter like pink food, right?) i'm not exactly a recipe person, more of a little-of-this, little-of-that. so.

boil your potatoes with two or three peeled beets. when the potatoes are done, the beets are done too, although the beets will be firmer than the potatoes. drain.

while the potatoes and beets are in the colander, i put my other stuff into the pot. this could be any combination of whatever dairy products i have in the house: milk, butter, sour cream, occasionally cream cheese or parmesan or whatever . . . i'm disgusting. i just guess at amounts. salt, pepper, however you normally do your potatoes. if i have fresh herbs, i might saute some in butter or oil and then add the rest of the dairy.

when all that is mixed, put the potatoes and beets back in and mash, or be lazy and mix with a hand mixer. the entire batch of potatoes will turn pink (a nice perky pink, not a sick, dull pink) and there are little chunks of beets which are an awesome jewel tone in there. so fabulous. we all love it.
post #14 of 31
for beet haters, i give you mashed p'carrotoes.

sub 5-6 carrots for the 2-3 beets. while draining, saute garlic with butter, salt, pepper and a good pinch of dill. then add milk/sour cream etc. then mix it all up. mmm.

i rarely make mashed potatoes without other stuff in there.

(end of thread'jacking)
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
we call them mashed pinktatoes. (we make it other times too - i mean, nothing says easter like pink food, right?) i'm not exactly a recipe person, more of a little-of-this, little-of-that. so.

boil your potatoes with two or three peeled beets. when the potatoes are done, the beets are done too, although the beets will be firmer than the potatoes. drain.

while the potatoes and beets are in the colander, i put my other stuff into the pot. this could be any combination of whatever dairy products i have in the house: milk, butter, sour cream, occasionally cream cheese or parmesan or whatever . . . i'm disgusting. i just guess at amounts. salt, pepper, however you normally do your potatoes. if i have fresh herbs, i might saute some in butter or oil and then add the rest of the dairy.

when all that is mixed, put the potatoes and beets back in and mash, or be lazy and mix with a hand mixer. the entire batch of potatoes will turn pink (a nice perky pink, not a sick, dull pink) and there are little chunks of beets which are an awesome jewel tone in there. so fabulous. we all love it.
THANK YOU!! That sounds delicious!!! And not to hijack the thread but if anyone else would like to share their yummy cinnamon roll; pumpkin bread; donut etc. recipes I would be very happy. I don't have many traditions as DD is usually with her dad for the fun stuff but I could use help.for the bit of time we spend together...you guys have all given me many fun eating; fun; decorating ideas thanks!!
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
i just had a fun idea (for our family anyway, but thought i'd share!) for solstice. i remember last winter when ds was asking why it was so dark in winter, why things stopped growing, where the animals were, etc. we had already been talking about why sleep was important for our bodies to grow and heal and for our minds to hold on to the things we learned during the day. with that in mind, we talked about how winter was like night for nature. trees are sleeping, fields are sleeping, lots of animals are sleeping . . . and we all need rest. so maybe a fun solstice ritual/tradition would be to "tuck" things in for winter (around our yard), saying goodnight and maybe leaving little comfort items around so they'll have sweet dreams.
oh I LOVE it!!! Darn it nothin really dies around here (FL) LOL.



Pink mashed potatoes ROCK!
post #17 of 31
I dunno...I think awesome food suggestions is right on target for the theme of the thread...

:

(hint hint hint )
post #18 of 31
Closer to winter time, we go for a family walk after one of the major wind storms to collect boughs for christmas decorations.
post #19 of 31
I am definitely trying those pink mashed potatoes.

One of the things I love the most about fall, though I'm not sure I'd count it as a tradition, is piling up the fallen leaves and jumping in them and throwing them and crunching them.

One of our Christmas traditions is that we have sweetbread and grapefruit for breakfast. My mom started this and now I do it. We also each get a word puzzle book (or something more suitable for the kids) each Christmas. It's a nice and relaxing way to spend some time. Another thing we do once the weather gets colder is to do jigsaw puzzles together.
post #20 of 31
Hay ride to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin, apple picking, carving jack-o-lanterns, walks in the woods to crunch the leaves. Mmmmmm, I can't wait to start!
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