Traditions and family

One of the things that’s always fun to include in books for me are families and their traditions, particularly since so many people have very specific and individual traditions–both at holidays and not. And then of course, the fun begins when things upend those traditions. Like an election where everybody disagrees. Or a divorce. Or a family member doing something unexpected or unusual.

My family didn’t have a lot of big traditions beyond a lot of the usual stuff. One we had belonged to my grandmother. She and my grandfather would come for a visit. They drank Sanka (instant coffee for those of you who are wondering). She would bring a big Sanka jar full of M & Ms. After dinner every night, she would count out fifteen or twenty for each of us kids, then carefully put that jar away. It was every night of their stay (we were on a ranch and had a separate living space for them, so sometimes they stayed for weeks).

A tradition in our family that I accidentally started was that every Easter, the kids get a stuffed animal, and though the Boy of Size is 16, we still do it. The animal shows up outside their bedroom doors and waits for them to wake up. It’s expected and required. We also started getting new nerf guns every Christmas, which is always followed by a nerf turf war.

I love hearing other people’s traditions. What do you do in your house? What are some from growing up?


About Diana Pharaoh Francis

A recovering academic, Diana Pharaoh Francis writes books of a fantastical, adventurous, and often romantic nature. She's owned by two corgis, spends much of her time herding children, and likes rocks, geocaching, knotting up yarn, and has a thing for 1800s England, especially the Victorians. Check out samples of just about everything on her website:


Traditions and family — 6 Comments

  1. At Christmas, in our house, everyone gets a book in their stocking. We also get an apple and an orange (back in the day, oranges were a lot harder/more expensive to get). My dad always made piggies in a blanket. That tradition stopped at our place a while ago, because our kids don’t like them. And yes, everyone still gets a stocking and at least one gift from Santa!

  2. When the kids were still kids we’d stay up most of New Year’s Eve playing MarioKart and Diddy Kong Racing on Nintendo.