I have this thing for tradition. I own no less than five books on ideas for creating family rituals. From our holidays and vacations to our everyday routines, my husband and I have built some pretty amazing family traditions.


Each Christmas season, we go to the Candlelight Tour at Mount Vernon.


We all make a wish as we toss a penny into the fountain before we leave the hotel at the end of our vacations.


We pray for Dilu, the sweet child we sponsor through World Vision, as a family, at every meal.


My longing for tradition isn’t born of purely of nostalgia, though admittedly there is some in the mix. No, I love ritual because of the continuity it provides with the heart of our family – Love. Our traditions are an anchor. The winds of change may blow all around us, but one thing doesn’t change. We are a family of deep love.




On Christmas Day, 11 years ago, Derek and I decided to chuck our plans for a big fall wedding the following year, and use the 12 days of Christmas to plan a wedding. (I wasn’t pregnant, as everyone suspected, though we did have big plans.)


As much as I love tradition, I wasn’t attached to many of the typical bride’s ideas of the perfect wedding day. I didn’t have any attendants; my best friends were not even there. I didn’t walk down an isle. We never cut a wedding cake or had a first dance. There was no photographer.


In front of an amazing stone fireplace, next to a Christmas tree, we entered into a covenant. In the presence of our immediate family and God, we promised a forever love, only possible because of the birth of the baby we celebrate at Christmas. It was the perfect wedding, for us.


On our honeymoon, we purchased a customized “Just Married” ornament. As I was watching the artist write our names, I had a vision of a Christmas tree filled with anniversary ornaments. And so it was born, one of our first family traditions.


May several generations of our family sit, Christmas morning, under a tree filled with reminders of our great love.


Happy Anniversary, Derek. I love you always.


What are your favorite family traditions? I would love to hear!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestPrint this pageEmail this to someone

This article has 4 comments

  1. Carol Carter Reply

    Your great love blesses all that are touched by it! Some of my favorite traditions are weekly worship, daily scripture reading & check-in with the Lord, baking around the holiday, Black Friday shopping with family, Lenten reflections, and spring flower planting. All of them are opportunities to count my many blessings…

  2. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy Reply

    So sweet. And I just went back and read your wedding story for the first time–how fun!! We’ll have to talk about this in person the next time we get to share gluten-free pizza :)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>