I honestly think my family may have too many different traditions to count, which I absolutely love. When I was growing up, our entire family (all hundred of us) would all gather on Christmas Eve and have a huge dinner and open gifts. It was always so much fun to see everyone and to spend time together playing and catching up. Most of the time, there would be so many presents that you wouldn’t even be able to see the Christmas tree, let alone get within a few feet of it! Let me tell you, as a kid and even now as I think about it as an adult, we were always in such awe at the magic in the air during those Christmas Eve nights.

As the years have gone on, the group grew even bigger and began having families of our own. While I love to reminisce on that Christmas Eve tradition, I also love that now our immediate family has grown enough to start our own holiday traditions. I do have to say that my absolute favorite, that has now been passed down for four generations, is our birthday tradition.

Every time that someone has a birthday, we wake up before that person and make hot chocolate and toast in a special birthday cup and plate. Then, we bring the birthday person breakfast in bed and read a special scripture. After that, we go around in a circle and tell the birthday person why we are thankful for them. It is such a simple tradition but one that is filled with so much love. To know that it has been passed down for so many generations makes it even that much more special! Growing up, I can remember waking up to everyone coming to sit on the bed with me and all singing happy birthday. We are a family of six and of course, all had crazy schedules so sometimes it would be super early before work or school and sometimes, if we were lucky, we got to sleep a bit later. Either way, it was such a special feeling to be woken up to the entire family coming together just for you and starting another year all together in such a positive way. I don’t know about the others, but after having five people tell me why they were thankful for me, I felt like I was on cloud nine and ready to take on whatever the next year had in store for me.

Eventually, I got married and started my own family. At some point, I shared the tradition with my husband. Our first year married, he surprised me on my birthday and continued the tradition that morning, making me hot cocoa and toast and telling me why he was thankful for me. We have continued to pass down that tradition and now do it for my son too. Even though he is too young to understand what is going on, he does understand that your birthday is a “special occasion” and loves the “hot coffee” he gets to drink. We have had this birthday morning routine for as long as I can remember and I will continue to do it with all my kids. As they get older and understand more, I hope that this tradition will be as uplifting and bring as much joy to them as it did and still does to me. I pray that one day they will also get to share it with their spouse and pass it down for many more generations!