INTRO: They are certainly different for everyone. Some people’s traditions are rooted in family – some in their culture – some in their religion…and most people seem to use a combination of any/all of those factors when creating their own traditions for their families. -- PAIL
I think when we start having families (in whatever sense of the word you want to put it) on our own away from our parents, we start out trying to emulate the traditions we grew up with. As time goes on, circumstances change and individual differences emerge to become new traditions within your family.
While I could talk about the various holiday traditions we observe (yeah, I have stories of reading about Hanukkah to our pet chinchilla when we did not have children; about trying to do an Easter egg hunt with an obviously bemused Jewish husband--or how now we observe with both a Christmas tree and Santa Claus and with a Menorah and latkes), I wanted to talk about the traditions that are make our family unique--traditions that were not handed down from our families, but we have created (often by happenstance).
We are definitely a nerdy family. We love science fiction and role playing and debating about whether Star Trek is better than Star Wars and how Futurama is one of the best shows out there--and Babylon 5 was AWESOME....you get the idea.
We start the year off right on New Year's Eve--my husband hosts a Call of Cthulu role playing game.
Every February, I look forward to two things. Planning my son's birthday party--and going to Total Con. We have been doing this tradition since Michael was about 3 years old. It is our pilgrimage to all things geeky--there are games to play, people who are like us, and always vendors selling geeky stuff. And even some years--prizes to be won. We go every year and it is such a nice break in the long winter.
Other geeky traditions we love doing include going to the local Renaissance Faire in the fall and going to various comic book conventions during the year. A lot of these traditions are things that we look forward to throughout the year, they become our milestones/markers for the year.
Some things are recent traditions--like how each Mother or Father's day the celebrant goes with Michael (and I assume eventually Willow) to play laser tag. Not only is it a bit different, but it is a great way to spend time with our teenager one on one!
A lot of our traditions are based on trail and error. I believe that the best thing to do for your children (and yourself) is to try new experiences and see new things. You never know when you might find something that will become a tradition for years to come!
P.S. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
(our tradition, made after we moved 800 miles away from family--Breakfast Pies--are in the oven!)