Before we were married, my husband and I had a few talks about our family traditions. These usually centered around the holidays… you know the drill: How do you celebrate Christmas? Presents on Christmas Eve, or Christmas day? Do we watch the game on Thanksgiving? Etc.
Things which had been known to cause WAR in my Mom’s family, such as the football game on Thanksgiving Day, were really a non-issue with us. We agreed on everything. It wasn’t until a couple of years after we got married that a tradition was added which is probably the favorite one for all of us. This is the tradition of The Special Plate.
Then about 13 years ago, my great Aunt Bernice gave us this plate for Christmas, with a note taped to the back of it.
“This plate is to celebrate anything anyone wants to celebrate. An A on a report card, a fabulous choir concert, an anniversary or birthday. Who ever has something to celebrate should eat on the Special Plate for that day. And I want you to know Dawn, that you are the only one in the family who makes it a priority to eat together as a family. That is why I am giving you this plate.”
It’s not made of fine china, porcelain, or even stoneware, but just plain, cheap melamine. It is colorful and fun. It is set at the table for which ever family member has a special day. It may be a birthday, Father’s or Mother’s Day, a new job, a perfect spelling test, or whatever. If it is a special day for someone, they get the special plate. I forget sometimes, but they are always quick to remind me, “Mom! It’s his birthday today! We need the Special Plate!”
And just to remind me of how much this tradition means to my family, I received a short, sweet email from our last foster child, a girl who is now grown and married. It said, “We miss it up there. Tonight I told John we have to go to the dollar store and get a special plate. I was thinking about you too!” And that made me smile, really big.
Thank you Lord, that I can pass on family traditions that are meaningful.
I want to thank Dawn for her awesome guest post. I look forward to bringing you more great posts about Creating Family Traditions.
Do you have a special family tradition?