Creating Family Traditions: 10 Things You Can Do With Your Family This Fall


Creating traditions within your family is a great way to provide children with beautiful memories and a feeling of stability, while giving a nod to the nostalgia of your past.

When I think of the month of November, I think of my family and the small traditions we enjoyed each year that signaled the fall season was upon us, like filling our home with pumpkin-scented candles and taking walks as autumn leaves crunched under our feet.

Life in the North State includes amazing fall weather and access to many inspirational resources, making it easy to begin new traditions with your family this season. Here are a few ideas for creating memorable experiences together that may become fondly anticipated year after year:

1. Start With Decorating

Decorating your home for fall is a great way to welcome the season. Local stores offer lots of décor options to choose from, but why not utilize what’s already outside and bring it indoors? Jeana LeClerc, owner of Art of Skin Care in Redding, shares that as she raised her three girls, they would go on walks together to collect leaves, pinecones and other nature items to create festive displays within their home.

2. Creating a Season of “Thanks”

A common Thanksgiving tradition is asking those around the table what they are thankful for. Why not extend this sentiment into a month-long tradition? When my infant daughter begins to speak, I plan to incorporate “Thankful Thursdays” during November to share what we are thankful for during weekly family dinners. You can also create a season of thankfulness by having children jot down what they are grateful for on a piece of paper or in a notebook as they think of things, and bring those notes to share on Thanksgiving Day.

3. Volunteering with your family

A great way to foster gratitude is to volunteer together as a family. Todd Merrill is the owner of Rep-Tile Natural Stone Inc. He and his family have been donating their time to Azad’s Thanksgiving Basket Brigade each November for the past 16 years. The event, created by Azad’s Martial Arts of Chico, helps families in need by providing a complete Thanksgiving dinner basket as a gift from the community. Children can be involved in the delivery, which really helps them understand the concept, says Merrill. “When my daughter was little she always wanted to carry the basket and be the one to pass it off.”

4. Tis’ the Season of Football!

Another common family tradition is to play a game of football as a family on Thanksgiving Day. Why not celebrate the season by supporting a local football team and attending a game or two under the Friday night lights? Rooting for your team is fun – you can dress in team colors and even make a sign to hold up during the game. Many high school games have a low-cost admission, and children are often admitted free. Contact your local school or junior league for schedule information.

5. Explore Fresh Produce and Local Farms

Although many fruits are harvested by November in the North State, you can still visit local farms and orchards, many of which host special activities this time of the year. You can pick persimmons with your family at Serendipity U-Pick Ranch in Anderson and also select pre-picked goods, says owner Tammi Miller. Noble Orchards of Chico is in its 94th year, and owner Laurie Noble invites families to enjoy the orchard’s “Sundays at the Farm” events; children love each week’s different harvest theme!

6. Pies, Crockpots and Tasty Treats

Nothing says fall quite like a home that’s filled with the smell of baked goods or a hearty soup brewing in a crockpot. Why not recreate a traditional family recipe? Cooking with loved ones is a great way to bond.  Create baked treats to donate to a holiday fundraiser, or to give as gifts to family, friends, neighbors or those in need.

7. Enjoy an Annual Event

Look to North State Parent Magazine’s calendar to learn about annual events your family can enjoy together – make one or two a new family tradition. Also check out this month’s feature on youth running to find a list of seasonal North State fun runs that families can enjoy together.

8. Assign Holiday “Roles”

When I was little, my grandmother let me use the mixer while we made holiday cookies together. I remember feeling so special that the job was mine. Every time we made cookies I would put my apron on in preparation for the mess I would most definitely make. To replicate this feeling with your child, why not let them each have a specific job role to perform each holiday, like setting the table or mixing the mashed potatoes? When your children are younger it can be a way to incorporate them in the preparations, and as they grow it can be a way to continue to involve them and to share quality time.

9. Bring Back the Traditions YOU Grew up With

From an annual movie viewing of “It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” to playing I-Spy while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, you can most likely recall childhood memories that highlight what you shared with your family during the holiday season. Jot down those memories and pick some to re-create as traditions with your own family.

10. Little Things, Big Impact

One of the best things about the fall season is its simplicity. Cold weekend mornings call for throw blankets and hot oatmeal. Messy yards call for raking up leaves and jumping into the pile with your kids. The best traditions are made when something organically happens and you enjoy it so much you continue each year.

I wish you and yours a happy autumn season filled with wonderful traditions! 

Christina Gutierrez
About Christina Gutierrez

Author Christina Gutierrez is a mom and Tehama County resident. She is passionate about her community, multi-platform storytelling, and finding ways to connect with other mothers.

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