By Kitty Syster

Most people and families have traditions that are unique to them. Traditions can be associated with holidays or just occasions that are special to you. Some of my favorite family traditions are holiday related. Thanksgiving is my family’s most important holiday gathering; we typically have 55 to 60 people attend.

There are two special traditions that makes the day special. The first tradition is our tablecloth; every year each person signs the special tablecloth so that it can embroidered. Every year’s thread is a different color and allows each person to look back over time to see where they sat at Thanksgiving in years past. The second tradition is our “center piece.” The large table we use for thanksgiving has a hole cut in the middle of it so that one person can sit in the middle and be the “center piece.” The chosen person wears a special hat that represents their personality. These traditions make the holiday extra special and I look forward to it all year.

Another tradition from my childhood that was not associated with a holiday was on the first day of school. Every year my mom would make homemade chocolate chip cookies and have them ready to eat when my siblings and I would get off the bus. This always made going back to school a little easier, knowing that warm fresh cookies were waiting when we walked in the door.

Everyone has different traditions for different occasions but one thing that is the same for everyone is the way traditions make you feel. Looking forward to a special event or activity makes you feel happy. Additionally, knowing what to expect on a regular basis makes the day go better. Think about the daily routines in your classroom. How do the children respond on days that the routine is followed compared to days when the routine is disrupted? Being aware of the routines in your classroom makes it easier to keep them consistent, and when a situation occurs where you can’t keep your routine you are able to plan in advance for the change and prepare the children for the change.


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