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Family Traditions

Christmas Eve Chili Dinner

A few years ago, my mom invited everyone over for a chili dinner before the church service on Christmas Eve. Because my mom's chili isn't my favorite, I volunteered to make my own. I've been…

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Christmas Family Traditions

EACH YEAR, my mom hides small framed pictures of each of her grandchildren on her Christmas tree. On Christmas Day, the kids have such a good time searching for their picture-perfect gift. And we…

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Christmas Traditions

WHEN I was growing up in Minnesota, Mom would open our home to many friends and family on Christmas Eve. After having our fill of her steaming Chicken Wild Rice Soup, crusty bakery rolls and a…

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Easter Family Traditions

Grandma Gert introduced our family to Swieconka (sh-vee-en-soon-kah), the Polish tradition of blessing Easter food. On Holy Saturday, Grandma, Mom and I would head to church, our picnic baskets…

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Easter Traditions

EVERY EASTER, Grandma would bake and decorate big Italian cookies in the shape of eggs, bunnies and baskets. She and Grandpa would tuck them into baskets for all of us kids to find at their house…

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Fall Family Traditions

I don't let autumn come and go without a trip to a local apple orchard with my two nieces and sister-in-law. We take a hay ride into the orchard, pick until our baskets are overflowing, then stop…

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Family Birthday Traditions

I purchased a plate with "Happy Birthday" painted on it. On each of my son's birthdays, they get to eat off of this special plate for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I've even toted it to…

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Family Christmas Traditions

ON CHRISTMAS DAY, my siblings and I and our families gather at our parents' house and take part in the Polish custom of sharing "oplatki", a thin bread wafer much like the unleavened host at Mass.…

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Family Easter Tradition

WHEN our kids were younger, we took them to our city's annual egg hunt the weekend before Easter. The Chamber of Commerce would disperse decorated eggs and assorted candy throughout the city park.…

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Family Easter Traditions

When I was a youngster, we celebrated Easter by "eppering". These were contests to see who had the hardest egg. To play, you cupped your egg in your fist so that only a small portion of each end…

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Family Fondue Traditions

At my family's fondue parties, we have a tradition that if the meat falls off your fork and into the pot, you must kiss the person to your right! —Margaret Inman, Fort Pierce, Florida

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Family Fourth of July Traditions

ON JULY FOURTH, my husband and I invite our four boys and their families home for a big barbecue featuring grilled chicken, fresh watermelon and a variety of picnic foods. After a day of yard…

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Family Thanksgiving Tradition

I USE a king-size quilt as my Thanksgiving tablecloth. During dinner, each person shares something for which they're thankful, then lights the votive candle at their place setting. Before long,…

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Family Thanksgiving Traditions

The night before Thanksgiving, our church holds a pie fest, where those attending are asked to bring a presliced pie to share. After the service, we head to the hall and find tables laden with…

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Family Tradition

INSTEAD of sending letters to Santa, I burned them in our furnace! Dad said Santa's helpers, called "Brownies", waited at the top of the chimney, where they caught the smoke and took it to the…

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Family Wedding Traditions

INSTEAD of making a "bouquet" from ribbons and bows at the bridal shower, our family gives the guest of honor a nosegay of silk flowers with silver dollars (minted in the year of the wedding) tied…

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German Christmas Tree Tradition

According to German tradition, children would eagerly head to the tree on Christmas morning to search for the pickle ornament that their parents hid in the green boughs the night before. The…

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Getting Your Family To Eat Together

Think outside the table. Spread out a picnic blanket in the living room for an impromptu indoor adventure.

Food Fight! Challenge your family to a mashed potato cook-off. You can wear…

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Gift of Time

Instead of buying each other Christmas presents, my youngest sister and I give the gift of time. We set aside one day to bake cookies—gingerbread men and other family favorites. Spending the…

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Holiday Baking Traditions

I work full-time, and nothing relaxes me more than heading to the kitchen after a hectic day. So early in December every year, I take off of work for a week so I can do my holiday baking. I keep…

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Holiday Family Traditions

My passion for making gifts of food at the holidays is shared by my daughter. (Homemade fudge is one of our specialties!) It all began when she was a teen and I enlisted her to knead 22 batches of…

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July 4th Traditions

JULY FOURTH was truly kids' day in the little Arkansas town where I reared my children. We bought small flags and yards of crepe-paper streamers to decorate wagons, tricycles, bicycles-anything…

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New Year’s Eve Traditions

WHEN my husband's Polish-Austrian parents immigrated to the United States, they brought along a wonderful New Year's Eve custom. Before the stroke of midnight, a coin is placed on every window…

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Successful Game Night Strategy

Turn off the television...unplug the phone...ignore the "to do" list. Instead, focus on your family by planning a night filled with a winning combination of fun, food, and games. (Kids have a…

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Summer Vacation Family Traditions

Every summer we head to North Carolina's Outer Banks for a week-long vacation with my husband's family. To prevent chaos in the kitchen of our rented beach house, we've developed a schedule where…

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Thanksgiving Traditions

INSTEAD of simply saying grace at our Thanksgiving dinner, each person around the table takes a turn to state what they're thankful for. Even the little ones pipe in and express their appreciation…

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