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      New Traditions

      Here we are at the top of Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada after an hour and a half hike back in August.  If it looks cold and cloudy to you, you are correct.  We actually hiked into the clouds, and the temperature dropped noticeably as we made are ascent to the top.  As we journeyed up the mountain, our kids repeatedly spoke of a new family tradition.  You see, last summer, we hiked to the top of Sterling Mountain and Madonna Mountain when we were on vacation in Vermont.  So two years in a row must make a tradition.

      Family traditions like this can have a huge positive impact on our families.  Traditions create fun expectations for everyone in the family.  For example, my family always anticipates putting up the Christmas tree and listening to each other share stories as they hang up Christmas ornaments that have special significance.  We also look forward to certain meals that have some tradition and family history tied to them.  For example, I love to make, serve, and eat the Swedish Christmas meal.  It brings back so many sweet memories of my grandparents, cousins, and parents.

      This year as we rode the cable car down to the bottom of Mont Tremblant (yes, we cheated), our kids were already scheming and asking about where we could go next year on vacation that has a mountain we can climb.  Despite the fatigue of climbing, I shared their excitement for continuing our new family tradition next year.

      What traditions do you keep?  Why?  What is the special significance of these traditions?