Capturing Your Thanksgiving Traditions

by Susie L Posted on November 08, 2009

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I’m a sucker for a good family tradition. I think that family traditions mark time in a most meaningful way. My family had a few traditions. The one I remember most vividly was our yearly ski trip to the Sierras with three other families. We saw each other only once a year but I still feel a strong connection to those kids. We made that trip for 13 years and it was our longest-standing family tradition.

I was so inspired when I came across Forty Years of the Hike by audreyG26. The book chronicles a forty-year family tradition of walking together to the town reservoir on Thanksgiving morning—rain or shine. Audrey writes, “The old pictures were fading and so were our memories of some of the people. I wanted it all in one place to enjoy for years to come.”

I don’t know these people but I was near tears by the end. On the back cover there’s a picture of Audrey as a baby sitting in a backpack on her grandfather’s back and she writes that now she carries her own sons. I grabbed the Kleenex. This stuff gets me every time. The book starts out with a scan of the original typed invitation from 1968 and a page of text explaining the tradition and its origins.

It even includes a description of the “scotch remedy” to get walkers warmed up, the “egg and ham in bag” breakfast and the tradition of walking the loop clockwise. A few years are missing but the book maintains a sweeping sense of history and heritage, all now preserved in a photo book.

What are your treasured family traditions and how will you keep them alive for future generations?

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  1. AnnAbbott Says:

    What an incredible tradition and to have it in pictures, how cool. Thanksgiving seems to just be a day of eating with our family. We always have to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on TV. I am going to have to think of away to make watching the parade even more special! And then take pictures!

  2. Earl J Says:

    The longer I live, the more important traditions become. My most meaningful tradition is coffee in bed in the morning. I hold Diane’s hand with one hand and a coffee cup with the other and she does the same. We talk about many things including the daily schedule, for at least 30 minutes before starting our activites. We’ve done this for many years, at home and away, and can’t imagine starting a day differently.

  3. Tiffany M Says:

    That is amazing! I love the tradition and its a wonderful collection of time and life. Gorgeous pictures. I hope to make a photo album of family history for my 2 yr old some day. This is great inspiration.

    Earl’s comment is so very sweet. :o)

  4. Joey Says:

    I agree, Earls comment is very sweet and its things like that which are most special to us, that we may have taken for granted. Lovely Earl.

    I need to look at this book. It looks spectacular and what a great tradition to have in a book. I’l get the kleenex ready!!
    We have had Thanksgiving at my parents ever since I was a little girl. We’d have all my mom’s side over, then when all their kids started having kids – they all did their own thing. So it was nice to have our immediate family. This year my sister in Minneapolis works Friday and so it was decided this summer, we were going to her house. It will be different for sure. Maybe I can get my parents picture for their Christmas card. They procrastinate!

  5. BarbaraJ Says:

    With a large extended family we really have a challenge getting together. This year we had Thanksgiving here at the lakehouse. We planned a sackrace for the kids and it was so cute. The little ones were not sure what to do. Great photo opportunity. Also I made pumpkin cookies for the kids to decorate. ( No pics because we were so busy playing outside we forgot to decorate.) We also saved our lemons on the lemon tree for the kids to pick, this was cute also. They were really hard to pull off the tree and you could see it on their faces. Great Thanksgiving and cherish each moment with the older family members.

more about Susie L

I’m Susie and I’m an artist and a writer and the chief archivist for our family. With a five year old son and a two year old daughter there are plenty of moments to record which I do on an almost daily basis. As a mom I love that with Shutterfly I can be creative and organized with my photography and knock out projects even with a hectic schedule. And as an artist I love that I can make gallery quality portfolios of my work to show potential clients. Plus the Shutterfly Gallery and community continues to be a wonderful source of inspiration for me. I hope I can return the favor.

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