First and foremost, I love the traditions that my family has, some have been passed down from generations and some have been started with us. Probably my favorite tradition, and one that growing up all of my friends were a little jealous of, is PILLOWCASES!! What are pillowcases you ask, only the greatest Christmas tradition of all time!! To understand the pillowcase tradition I'll have to give you a brief history lesson...you see, in England (where my mom was born and my grandma was raised) during the war paper and other supplies were so scarce that instead of wrapping presents "Santa" would leave presents in a pillowcase that children would put at the bottom of their beds on Christmas Eve. Obviously the war is over, there is an endless supply of wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, but the pillowcase tradition is still going strong. But since my Dad is American we also get stockings, that's right, a pillowcase and stockings, needless to say between my pillowcase, stocking and presents under the tree, I've never had a bad Christmas.
Some other favorite traditions include.....
- Mother Goose, you leave out one shoe on New Year's Eve and she leaves you little presents this is a tradition from my Dad's family, sorry no great story to explain this one...we just do it, because it's tradition. It's also a tradition that my Mom forgets about Mother Goose has to run to the store to get something for our shoes.
- Easter egg hunts!! I don't care how old I get I will always love Easter egg hunts. I think it all started when I was younger when me and some of my cousins would go to my Grandma Mary's the night before Easter and stuff garbage bags full of colorful plastic eggs with candy (we all know that Easter candy is the best) and change that my Grandma would save all year. Candy and money? How could I not grow up loving Easter egg hunts? There would also be a larger egg with each of our names on it that would be stuffed with candy and always have either fifty-cent pieces or silver dollars, this was the most exciting part of the Easter egg hunt, trying to find YOUR egg. We also had kind of unspoken rule, well at least I did with my sisters, that if you found someone else's egg you couldn't tell them where it was. The worst part of our Easter egg hunts at Grandma's was being the oldest. Typically, being the oldest has it advantages, but this was not one of those times. In this particular case, being the oldest meant that every kid younger then you got a head start. That's right, I would have to sit and watch as Gus would go, then Emily, then Jake, then Sam, then Kody, then Brooke and then me...that's a long time when there are eggs full of candy AND money to be hunted. But there were always more then enough eggs to go around and I always ended up with enough candy to last me for weeks and money that I'm sure I wasted on something frivolous, like slap bracelets or pogs at the gas station. After we opened our eggs, counted our money, and of course stuffed a few chocolate eggs in our mouths we would have a traditional lunch of sloppy joes, potato salad (made with eggs that we had dyed making it nice and colorful), queso dip with Fritos, deviled eggs and baked beans, in my humble opinion, one of the best meals ever! The recipes for these foods have also been passed down and will hopefully be served on Easter for years to come. So now, I'm....pause for dramatic effect.....25, and still love love love Easter egg hunts, rain or shine (and springtime in Utah there could even be snow) my Dad plays Easter bunny and not only hids eggs but our baskets as well. The basket hiding is something that we've picked up from my cousins but it's become one of my favorites parts about Easter. My parents have since learned after a couple years of "mild" disagreements that it's best to have an even number of eggs so that some people who will not be name...Brooke....don't make a beeline and get all the eggs. I can't wait to pass this tradition down to my family and help my kids love Easter as much as I do....phew that was long, sorry, but clearly I have a lot of memories associated with Easter.
- Baseball. I know, baseball is a sport but I feel like growing up in Spanish Fork has made it a tradition. I grew up at the ball park, either playing or just hanging out. It was my dream to work at the snack shack (I know I dream big) which turned out to be the greatest summer jobs ever, and of course softball was my life. I even worked at Grand Slam Batting Cages, yep, you can go ahead and add that to the list of dream jobs. One of the best parts of being involved with Spanish Fork baseball was and still is Sunshine. Ask anyone who has lived in Spanish Fork longer then 5 years and they will most likely know that Sunshine is one of the best weekends of the year, where most Spanish Forkians will be found in St. George watching the baseball team participate, and more often then not, winning the Sunshine tournament. The softball team also heads down there for a tournament of their own, which was also something that growing up I couldn't wait to play in. Even though I've been graduated for nearly 10 years now, it is still one of my favorite weekends of the entire year and I start counting down the days mid-February, which means that the countdown is on as we speak. I just love seeing people that I've grown up, catching up with old friends and enjoying the warm weather, even though this is not always the case, my junior year we had to play in snow, not exactly what you expected when you head down to St. George. Last year I took Amanda and Andi down for Sunshine and this year Lindy gets to come and I can't wait!!
- The last tradition (since this has once again turned into another lengthy post) that I'm going to share is our Sunday before Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Dinner. Every year since I can remember, we've had a Thanksgiving Dinner at my Aunt Kathi's house the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I can't honestly say how this tradition started, and I think the reason for it doesn't exist anymore, but I love that we still do it. My Aunt Kathi always has something fun for us to take home, usually something Christmasy (sp?) and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with every year.
- Wait, I lied, I have one more...not sure if you would call this tradition or habit but if it's between 2 and 4 pm and I'm within a 5 mile radius of a Sonic, I will be getting a Route 44 Diet Dr. Pepper with Vanilla. One of my new favorite traditions!