Guest Post – A Special Tradition

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.

Special Plate

“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?

13 thoughts on “Guest Post – A Special Tradition”

  1. I enjoyed reading this post. One tradition my family had while I was growing up was to go out for Chinese food when it was a family member’s birthday.

    I like the idea of the special plate because it is a cool way to honour the person who has a special occasion to celebrate. Great idea!
    .-= Auntie Diane´s last blog ..Happy Birthday, Honey! =-.

    1. Hi Diane,

      I love the idea of Chinese food for birthdays. I love Chinese food. I love Dawn’s post about the special plate.


  2. What a fantastic idea! I love it and I’m totally going to steal it (although I’ll try to credit you!), Dawn.

    Sadly, I can’t think of too many traditions we have. We do eat dinner as a family and go to religious services. But even then there can always be something else getting in the way.

    I’ll have to work on this, to create a family tradition that is just as neat as this!
    .-= Sara @ Saving For Someday´s last blog ..Is it Summer Yet? =-.

    1. Steal away! We have always liked it. My Great Aunt Bernice was one smart lady. She was in her 80’s when she gave it to us, and died year before last at the age of 97.
      .-= Dawn´s last blog ..What’s For Breakfast? =-.

      1. Hi Dawn,

        Thanks so much for guest posting today! I love this idea. I have a question though. What do you do if there are two special events on the same day? How do you share the plate?


        1. Oooo good question! That hasn’t happened yet. I guess if more than one had a special occasion, we’d have a family party? =)
          .-= Dawn´s last blog ..What’s For Breakfast? =-.

    2. Hi Sara,

      Thanks for visiting. I thought it was an awesome idea too. I am so glad that Dawn decided to share it here. I want to implement more family traditions into our lifestyle. I can’t wait to get a special plate.


  3. I have to say that i am wrriting a comment with tears in my eyes….yes i am emotional today….that is a beautiful tradition and will start it today…my hubby’s birthday….and we will do this when ever we can! Thank you Dawn for sharing this with us!

    1. Sylvie: Thank you! I am glad that it blessed you. My great aunt really encouraged family meal times, and this tradition has blessed our family tremendously. :) Have fun with it!!
      .-= Dawn´s last blog ..Squish! My Friday Fail =-.

    2. Hi Sylvie,

      Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. I am so glad that Dawn’s post blessed you. It is such a beautiful tradition that I can’t wait to start with my family.


  4. I love that the plate is virtually unbreakable! I have a special plate that’s ceramic and heavy that I’ve never pulled out… I think I’ll go get one like you described that should last for years to come… thank you, Dawn!

    One of our traditions is actually tomorrow… one year my oldest asked when “Kids’ Day” is since we have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day… so we chose June 7th (although we’re celebrating a day early this year) since it was the day we started having children (our oldest son’s adoption day). We don’t celebrate his adoption, we just celebrate our children and treat them like they treat us on our special days. It’s lots of fun and they truly appreciate it!

    1. Hi SomeGirl,

      Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. I love the idea that the plate is unbreakable too. Kids’ Day sounds so fun – thank you for sharing.


    2. Sorry I missed your comment when you wrote it! Having a kid’s day sounds GREAT! I can see how they would think that is neat, having a day that’s “theirs” just like we parents have Mother’s and Father’s Day. :)

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