When I was invited to partner with Honey Bunches of Oats for their THIS. IS. EVERYTHING.TM campaign, I immediately thought to my everything: my family and my home. One of my priorities as a parent is to continue family traditions that I was raised with and helped mold me into the person I am today.
I was born and raised in the beautiful state of West Virginia, and my family instilled in me a deep sense of love for my home, and for each other.
As an adult, I moved across the country to Texas and this is home now. However, ask me where I’m from, and without hesitation, I’ll still say with pride, “West Virginia!”
Cheering on our state football team, decorating cookies at Christmas, boating on the river, or riding horses in the hills — these were all family traditions that I treasured growing up. I want to continue family traditions with my girls, so they too will be blessed with that special knowing of where “home” is.
5 Ways to Continue Family Traditions with your Children
1. Teach them about your home
Kids are curious, and my oldest daughter loves nothing more than to ask me about my own childhood. I’m happy to tell her stories about where I grew up and the fun things my family did.
My oldest daughter knows every word to our unofficial state song “Country Roads” and can recite my college fight song. She hasn’t yet visited West Virginia, but I’d bet that she feels just as strongly connected as a child that was born there!
2. Make your home their home
When I talk about my home state and my extended family, I tell my daughters it is “our” home, so they know it is theirs too. My hope is that my girls will grow up feeling that they are a part of something special, something bigger than them.
We might someday move to a new house or even a new city. However, my girls will have roots that never move, firmly planted in the home they carry in their hearts.
3. Re-create your most treasured childhood traditions
Some of my favorite childhood memories are of our holiday gatherings with the extended family. Even though we aren’t able to travel back to West Virginia every year, I re-create some of my favorite traditions so my girls can learn them too.
My childhood Christmas tree was packed to the brim with the most random assortment of ornaments you could put together. Paper ornaments handmade in school hung with pride next to fancy store-bought ceramic figurines. Our tree was a representation of our family: bright, busy, and unique. My own daughters help me decorate our tree every year, and I’m happy to report it is headed in the same direction!
Another favorite tradition was decorating sugar cookies before Christmas. My mom saved all of the cookie cutters from our childhood, and now my girls get to use them. Each cookie cutter tells a story — of places we’ve been and of relatives who passed them down through generations. It doesn’t even matter if the cookies taste good — all that matters is the time we spent around the table making them, and admiring them in the days afterwards.
4. Help your children get to know their family, no matter the distance
Much of my family still lives in West Virginia, or in its neighboring states. Though distance keeps us apart for long periods of time, we are still as close as ever. My girls might have only met some of their relatives a couple times, but they talk about them and ask about them regularly. We keep our family “close” and help our girls build a relationship with them in these ways:
- Cards and letters — Christmas cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, and even old fashioned letters are wonderful ways to help your children keep in touch with distant relatives. There is something so personal about reading another person’s handwriting, and who doesn’t love to get real mail?
- Facetime — Oh the wonders of technology! How lucky my girls are that they get to see some of their far-away family at the touch of a button! It always brightens their day, as I’m sure it does the recipient of their call.
- Make visits happen when at all possible — Because it is a small state with a tiny airport, it can be very pricey to fly to West Virginia. A two-day drive each way is not very practical either. However, sometimes you just have to go. We’ve marked our calendars and are saving up for a trip home next summer for my Granny’s birthday/family reunion. It’s still a ways to go, but we are already so excited and it will be worth every penny!
5. Don’t forget the small traditions
Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day, and I think it is as well for my daughters. The first words out of their mouths every morning: “we’re hungry!”
One of my dad’s favorite cereals was Honey Bunches of Oats. Every morning he’d fill his bowl to the very tip top and sit down with the newspaper. I loved to join him with an also almost-impossibly-full bowl of crispy flakes and decadent oat clusters and grab a section of the paper.
Honey Bunches of Oats is still one of my favorite cereals. I’m partial to the Honey Roasted original, though there are twelve different flavors and I’m curious to try more of them! You don’t have to pick just one flavor…you can have everything!
With that thought in mind, Honey Bunches of Oats just launched a new campaign “THIS. IS. EVERYTHING.TM” in dedication to the multiplicity of tastes and textures of this timeless cereal.
To celebrate, Honey Bunches of Oats is giving fans the chance to win a $10,000 prize by creating and starring in their own “THIS. IS. EVERYTHING.TM” video. To enter, visit the Starring You microsite: www.HoneyBunchesThisisEverything.com and upload three photos to show us what makes you…YOU!
But that’s not all!! After you’ve made your “THIS. IS. EVERYTHING.TM” video, share the link here in the comments for a chance to win a $75 VISA gift card and a box of Honey Bunches of Oats! – giveaway closed, winner will be announced soon!
I had a lot of fun with this one — I love all the silly options for customizing your video! Here’s mine:
Giveaway open to US residents ages 18+ ; entries accepted through midnight on 9/11/16. One winner will be chosen at random from qualified entrants on 9/12/16. You must leave a valid email address to enter; you’ll also be included on my newsletter list to receive the latest updates and future giveaways. (You may unsubscribe at any time…but I’d sure miss you!)