My Family Traditions

Traditions or quirks of my immediate and extended family

A few of the quirky things my family does:

Other small traditions my immediate family has:

Birthdays are celebrated with extended families.

For the kids' birthdays (until you turn 18) the whole family gathers together to celebrate. We have cake and ice cream and give presents.


Every year my mom's side of the family has a big Christmas get together. Everyone is supposed to come. There is a gift giving event- one for the kids and one for the adults (usually involving a lot of alcohol).

A Christmas tradition just within my immediate family is that instead of sending out a Christmas card with just a family picture, we put together a paper with our school pictures and a few pictures of major events that happened throughout the year.

Families Stick Together

Another somewhat unspoken rule between my parents' families is that they were expected to stay in or around their hometowns where the rest of their families were located. My parents' families both live in southern Illinois. My mom's mom was especially disappointed when my mom decided to move up here to Springfield, two hours away.

Religious Traditions or Expectations

My mother and her entire family are German and Catholic. My father and his father are Baptist.

Both of their families expected them to marry within their separate churches. Their families were, in a way, disappointed with them when they married each other. Nothing was ever said out loud to them but it was more of an unspoken rule that they shouldn't have gotten married.

It is a rule within the Catholic church that if a person marries someone outside of the Catholic church then that couple must promise that they will raise their kids to be Catholic.

This is what my parents decided to do. My siblings and I are Catholic and our parents had us go to religion class every Wednesday from when we were in first grade up until eighth grade.

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Sociological Terms

1. Symbols- You can find all sorts of religious symbols in my families' houses. Ones like these above are Catholic symbols.

2. Norms- My parents chose not to follow several of their families' norms. They both moved away from their families and they married outside of their churches.

3. Ethnocentrism- The way my family looks down upon moving away from each other is similar to ethnocentrism (the judging of others in terms of one's own cultural standards).