Family Traditions

Jenna Kollins, A1

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, my sister and I are always allowed to open one present. This tradition started by my sister begging and pleading to open one of her presents that she really wanted when she was around 4. My mom and dad tried to be strong, but they couldn't resist her big blue eyes and pouted lips. So, they let her and I open one present of our choice. I don't even remember what I opened that Christmas, but I do remember that tradition has stayed with us all these years. I think I am going to do this with my family because it really made me and my sister happy and gives us something to look forward to.


Every Thanksgiving, it has always been a tradition to have both my moms and dads side of the family over to our house for dinner. Which means that I have to clean my entire house from top to bottom, but it's worth it for the apple pie my grandma makes. When my family comes over, it's never boring because there's people there aged 4 to 74, so everyone always has something to say. Usually, we get done eating before the football game starts, so we play a board game or something to pass the time. Then, the guys go watch the game, the women gossip over some wine and the kids either fall asleep or sneak another slice of pie.

Christmas Cookies

Christmas time is my favorite time of the year for numerous reasons. One of them being the cookies my grandma Jane makes, called pinwheels. They are vanilla and chocolate cookie dough rolled up and cut into slices, and they are one of my favorite foods. My grandma makes them exclusively around Christmas time, so naturally when she does I eat as many as I can stomach.

Happy Birthday

Birthdays are always a fun time, even when you do something really simple. Since I was little, my dad has always gone to the grocery store with us the day before our birthdays and let us pick out cake mix and icing of our choice. The next afternoon, we'd come home from school or something, and a our cake would be right there in the kitchen waiting for us. We would go out to dinner (always somewhere Italian for me) and come back and enjoy delicious cake. My sister usually gets red velvet in cupcake form, and I always get chocolate in cake form. I will continue to do this tradition as an adult, because it's something I look forward to every year even though it is something simple.


For both my sister and I's 8th grade graduation, we both got pretty little blue heart necklaces from Tiffany & Co. In addition, we had the whole family over and made it a really big deal. I thought it was really fun, it made me feel almost like a grown up even though I was 14.

My 4 Christmases

This is my last Christmas tradition I'm going to talk about, but I always have 4 Christmases every year. On Christmas Eve, we go to my mom's stepmom's house and open presents with that side of the family. Then we go back home, and wake up and open our presents at our house. After that, we head to my mom's mom's house, and have a little brunch. THEN we head to my dad's mom's house and open presents and everything there. After that we can finally come home and relax.

4th of July

Although Christmas is my favorite, 4th of July is up there as well. I love the summer and how everyone is a little happier because the weather is warmer, plus there is always an abundance of sun tea at my house. Anyway, for the 4th of July, my entire street participates in this tradition. My neighbors and my family always set off fireworks. Like great big fireworks. It is the best, and everyone in the neighborhood can see them. It amazing to be right there under the fireworks, and everyone's face lights up with joy. Coincidentally, July 5th is my least favorite day of the year because I have to clean all the debris from the fire works up.

March Madness

Every year since I could walk, my dad had taken my sister and I out for breakfast on the Thursday that March Madness starts on. We always go to the Hen House, which is this really good restaurant on Toronto Road kind of by where we used to live. I don't really know why he takes us out, but I never question it because who would question chocolate chip pancakes before school?

The First Day

The first day of school is a jumble of emotions, usually bad, but sometimes good. My feelings are good towards this because my mom always takes my sister and I shopping for new clothes for the school year. This is always something to make school more enjoyable, so my sister and I look forward to it every year.

Happy New Year

This is one of my all time favorite traditions. My family and our friends, the Perry's, have been really close for our entire lives. Since my dad's birthday is on January 1st, they always have a party for him, starting with breakfast. We go over to their house, where some of my dads friends have already arrived, and have a breakfast with pancakes, sausage, eggs, bacon, biscuits and gravy, hasbrowns, the whole deal. Then more people come over, and they start playing poker, and the kids stay upstairs and watch TV or something. Though this might not sound fun, it is one of my favorites because I am always surrounded by people I've known my whole life, telling jokes and everything.