Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

New Traditions

Here we are at the top of Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada after an hour and a half hike back in August.  If it looks cold and cloudy to you, you are correct.  We actually hiked into the clouds, and the temperature dropped noticeably as we made are ascent to the top.  As we journeyed up the mountain, our kids repeatedly spoke of a new family tradition.  You see, last summer, we hiked to the top of Sterling Mountain and Madonna Mountain when we were on vacation in Vermont.  So two years in a row must make a tradition.

Family traditions like this can have a huge positive impact on our families.  Traditions create fun expectations for everyone in the family.  For example, my family always anticipates putting up the Christmas tree and listening to each other share stories as they hang up Christmas ornaments that have special significance.  We also look forward to certain meals that have some tradition and family history tied to them.  For example, I love to make, serve, and eat the Swedish Christmas meal.  It brings back so many sweet memories of my grandparents, cousins, and parents.

This year as we rode the cable car down to the bottom of Mont Tremblant (yes, we cheated), our kids were already scheming and asking about where we could go next year on vacation that has a mountain we can climb.  Despite the fatigue of climbing, I shared their excitement for continuing our new family tradition next year.

What traditions do you keep?  Why?  What is the special significance of these traditions?


September 7, 2011 - Posted by | experiences, family, life, looking back, new experiences, thoughts, travel, vacation


  1. We used to eat stuffed cabbage on Christmas Eve, but when my mom’s best friend (who made it) died, we decided that we would have a new tradition; sandwiches, potato salad, and other really easy stuff. 🙂 I usually make a more formal Christmas dinner. We’re thinking lobster this year! We have pancakes on Easter after church. They’re not quite “normal” but they are fun!

    Comment by Sandy Collum Sandmeyer | September 7, 2011 | Reply

    • Can we come over for the lobster? That sounds delicious!

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 7, 2011 | Reply

  2. Your family has a blast. Our biggest tradition is anniversary trips but now that we have a kid I look forward to family vacations and father-son type activities.

    Comment by ramblinknight | September 7, 2011 | Reply

    • Ryan, I encourage you to keep your anniversary tradition and add new traditions as a family.

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 7, 2011 | Reply

  3. We have made it a tradition to eat dinner together….with the tv off…

    I love it…

    This is when Emily asks her most curios questions…lol…I love it…

    Comment by Arny Sanchez | September 7, 2011 | Reply

    • Arny, I think that keeping the TV off while eating dinner TOGETHER is a great pattern to get into early on. You won’t regret it!

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 7, 2011 | Reply

  4. What a great family tradition, I love that your kids were the instigators! Kids love to connect time, people and activities. We have yet to form many traditions. But I look forward to creating some in the future.

    Comment by Beck | September 9, 2011 | Reply

  5. That sounds really cool. Living in my family, we never really had family traditions. We use to celebrate Christmas with extended relatives but then we just started losing track of it as we became older. I think that type of thing is important even if it ends up fading.

    Comment by Jonathan Manor | September 11, 2011 | Reply

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